A day after India lost the Test series to South Africa following a seven-wicket defeat in Cape Town, Virat Kohli quit as the team’s Test captain. The Test series against an inexperienced Proteas outfit was seen by many as India’s best chance to win a Test series in South Africa. However, while India won in Centurion, they went down in Johannesburg and failed to get their act right at Newlands as well.
India Test captain Virat Kohli refused to divulge anything about the future of struggling senior batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane following India’s 2-1 series loss to South Africa on Friday. Asked about what would happen to the two now that they have failed in another series, Kohli stated that it will be the selectors who will take the call.
Team India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey tried to downplay Indian players’ heated reaction to a DRS decision that went in favour of Dean Elgar on Day 3 of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. According to Mhambrey, players sometimes say things in the heat of the moment and there was nothing much to it.
Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has praised captain Virat Kohli, stating that he always backs the bowlers and encourages them. Bumrah also added that Kohli’s presence brings a lot of energy to the side. The 28-year-old fast bowler was India’s star performer on Wednesday. He claimed 5 for 42 in South Africa’s first innings in the Cape Town Test. The Proteas were bowled out for 210 as India gained a slender 13-run lead
India batting coach Vikram Rathour has stated that, with a bit more luck, captain Virat Kohli could have converted his half-century on Day 1 of the Cape Town Test into a big innings. Rathour hailed Kohli for showing great discipline during his knock of 79 on Tuesday, which was the second slowest Test fifty of his career.
Team India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli, who has been struggling for big runs for over two years, has underplayed the criticism surrounding him, pointing out that he has made key contributions for the team in the same period. Kohli’s last Test hundred, as has been widely reported by now, came in November 2019. During the same period, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have also struggled for consistency, meaning India’s middle-order has been on thin ice.
The three-match Test series between South Africa and India is currently tied 1-1. Experts gave India a great chance of winning their maiden Test series in South Africa during the second Test in Johannesburg. However, South Africa fought back from the defeat in Centurion to win at Wanderers and level the series. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar led from the front with an unbeaten 96 in a chase of 240.
Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has admitted that there will be a conversation with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant over his shot selection. Pant was dismissed for a third-ball duck in the Johannesburg Test, which India went on to lose by seven wickets on Thursday. On day three, Pant gifted his wicket away while trying to slog Kagiso Rabada without getting his eye in.
Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara admitted that the Johannesburg surface has variable bounce after scoring a crucial fifty on Day 3 of the 2nd Test against South Africa. Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struck half-centuries while Hanuma Vihari scored a vital 40* as India posted 266 in their second innings and set South Africa a target of 240 for victory. In response, the Proteas reached 118 for 2 by stumps.