April 22, 2018

Plan was to keep Kohli quiet, says Philander

13 January 2018, 05:39 | Henrietta Morgan

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

"Virat Kohli should not worry about such things [team combination]", Ganguly said. There is a school of thought that a track replicating the one in the first Test could have seen India dropping the spinner altogether. "He is probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home", affirmed Kohli. I explained reasons why Rohit started ahead of him (Rahane). And as far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice today what is it that we are going to go within this game. If he achieves this feat in the next match, he will be the third fastest Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev (25) and Irfan Pathan (28) to pick up 100 Test wickets. India, the No 1 ranked Test side, were comprehensively beaten and outclassed at Cape Town.

"Well, we made a decision to go on current form", Virat Kohli said after the match. "The batting didn't come out well so I'm not anxious on the bowling front at all".

After South Africa's first Test win, head coach Ottis Gibson said: "I'm a very fast-bowling minded coach and I guess we will always have to find a balance to see if we can get four fast bowlers in the team, first of all". There was also discussion that KL Rahul should be back in the playing eleven and India need to play only four bowlers.

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Following India's defeat in the first Test match against South Africa, the debate is more about team selection than it is about the shortcomings of the players.

Kohli had an advice for batsmen and encouragement for bowlers. He was asked to elaborate what he meant by that. "You need to be positive in defence and leaving, and cash in on scoring", the straight-talking skipper said. Intent is about being vocal out there in calling.

Given Ngidi's own injury problems - especially his back - another consideration for not perhaps picking him just yet is Vernon Philander's newfound fitness. It gets portrayed in your body language. You can't be changing and chopping players after every individual failure and a Test loss.

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Somehow, the "will not" bit looked likely and the picture of Rahane in a bib carrying drinks came to mind. Defending or leaving the ball, you need precise footwork to do that. While the conditions obviously are hard to tackle, they need to show some positive intent to take on the rival attack which will be preying on their perceived weakness against bounce. So I had a lot of things to learn from it. Just before that last over I bowled, "Faffie" was going to bowl Morne, and I said to him, "Listen, I'm actually warm now, so just give me one more". My stride should be big enough to leave the ball, or defend it.

"I feel incredibly bad for Dale". But it's understanding that you are in control of what you want to do.

The situation is different now, and also the conditions.

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But Kohli said disrupting the bowling unit for batting troubles would be unwise and instead called on his batsmen to take up additional responsibilities of adding those 80 extra runs.

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