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Centurion Test: India at 35/3; still 252 runs short of win

18 January, 2018, 14:24 | Author: John Swanson
  • Virat Kohli’s team selection for the second Test vs South Africa came under plenty of criticism with ex India opener Virender Sehwag pulling no punches in his criticism for the Indian cricket team skipper

In the first Test too, India's miserable batting led to the defeat despite a brilliant show put up by the bowlers. But Kohli did not agree that overseas conditions had hampered this team's performance in any manner.

He snappily replied: "What's the best eleven?"

Reporter: Was it your best XI?

Kohli: How many Test matches have you (South Africa) won out of 30? I am not saying they don't, but we have repeated these mistakes in both matches. "So, I feel the difference is we don't rely on just one guy - as a team we've been better", he offered. You are telling me that you could have played the best 11. "You make one decision and you back it", he said. The 21-year-old debutant emerged as a bowling hero, finishing with a six-for overshadowing the efforts of more accomplished players in the South African line-up, particularly Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.

"We haven't had the opportunity to beat India 3-0 for a while". We had the best XI there.

Kohli would go on to underplay the playing XI selection, making it nearly irrelevant by saying, "Whoever plays should be good enough to go out there and do the job for the team. We have played with teams in the past which have looked really strong and lost", said Kohli further.

Careless run-outs, missed catches and more.

The Indians now require 252 runs on the fifth and final day in order to earn victory and pull level in the series.

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"Kohli: "How many Test matches have we won out of 34?" We tried but we weren't good enough.

Q: "How many in India?".

The captain is certainly right when he says, in the end all that matters is who goes out on the field and performs.

"We have not come here to play the way we have (played). I'm here to answer your questions, not to fight with you".

India is ranked number one but after lost of the match, does Kohli believe they still are the best?

They have never won a series in South Africa in last 25 years. And as I said in the presentation as well, South Africa did that better than us.

Then late in the day came his dismissal for just five, trapped palpably in front by newcomer Lungi Ngidi which left his side with an uphill task to win on the final day. "Coming close to winning games in India. can you count?"

Q: "That's because of the pitches".

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Elgar would not be drawn into expanding on what had happened in Cape Town between him, Sharma and Kohli. The game was finished in three days, one [day] was a washout.

Kohli also used the 2014-15 tour of Australia as example, where they became the only visiting side to score 400-plus in each Test of a series in Australia (Min. 4 Tests).

"Big time", he said of the potential 3-0 win.

South Africa first wrestled control through a grinding innings by skipper Faf du Plessis, who faced 141 balls over almost four overs for his 48. When he was asked about the pitches in India, he felt they bordered on the extreme.

Du Plessis termed the win here at SuperSport Park "extremely special". We as a team don't think of what the opinion going around is, and I've clarified that before also.

A whitewash is looking very much possible. Ajinkya Rahane, who didn't play the first two Tests, averages 53.44 in away conditions compared to 33.63 at home.

I told the guys the wicket looks different to what it looked before toss. But in this Test, on a wicket which did not suit seam bowling, the areas our bowlers bowled were fantastic. But he got people talking when he took two for 12 and four for 19 in his first two matches. "It's a nice motivating factor to keep me going".

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