The ignored trio of KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma were part of an optional practice session at Newlands, even as South Africa coach Ottis Gibson warned they would continue to torment India with pace. "So you are basically depending on Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli as the two best performers in overseas conditions", Sourav said.
"Look at Cheteshwar Pujara". His 13 of 14 Test hundreds have come in sub-continent conditions. "Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well", Kohli said at the post-match press conference on Monday, January 8.
While the entire nation was surprised with the unexpected result, Ganguly seems to have anticipated it beforehand. While the bowlers managed to get South Africa out twice, India's top-order crumbled in both the innings and put too much pressure on the lower-middle order. "We have to try and create plans that we feel will not let the opposition gain momentum very early on in the game and thats the idea behind it", Kohli had explained.
He further conveyed that the Team's management wouldn't change the squad altogether for their own good. They were very much in the game at that point, but the batting collapse dented the good work done by the bowlers. "I don't think Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will change the team straightaway". The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul were left out from the team, that landed the Indian batting in a spot of bother.
Though there was no question of Rohit being benched after one failure, bringing Rahane into the eleven was only a possibility if India preferred to go in with seven batsmen. Hardik Pandya showed great character in the first innings to get us to that total.
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Centurion and Wanderers (venue for third Test in Johannesburg) historically offer a lot more seam and swing than Newlands along with additional bounce.
With quicker and bouncier wickets awaiting them at Centurion and Johannesburg, Virat knows that as the challenge gets steeper, his batters would need to adapt and adapt quickly to these surfaces. Also we rectified the errors we made in the first innings by letting them off after having them 12/3.
On the strong bowling display by Indian seamers, the 45-year old said that the ability to get 20 wickets gave India the chance to go for a win in Cape Town. Rahul because he has done well in overseas conditions.
"You have to be open to those suggestions, but I'll have to give this one to "Faffie" (du Plessis)", he said. While Rahane had struggled for runs against Sri Lanka, Rohit scored heavily in both the Test series as well as in the limited overs where he captained the side. "I mean it's hard for the bowlers to set their lines and lengths every time with the strike rotating well". There's not been a single fifty from the order. "So India will have to fight their way into the next match", Ganguly concluded.