India stand-in captain KL Rahul on Thursday said Virat Kohli is already in the nets and “should be fine” for the Test series decider against South Africa. Captain Kohli was ruled out of the second Test due to a cramp in his upper back. South Africa won the second Test by seven wickets to level the series. “Virat is feeling better than ever, has been fielding and running in the nets for the past few days and I think he should be fine,” Rahul said in the post-match presentation. Head coach Rahul Dravid also gave an update on Kohli’s fitness in a media interaction.
“He is looking good and knocking on the nets. He will be good to go for season two in Cape Town,” the coach said.
Rahul also talked about Mohammad Siraj’s hamstring injury which he suffered during the second Test. Despite the injury, Siraj continued to bowl in the match but was far from his best.
“Siraj is feeling better every day. A break for a few days can really help him. But we have quality on our bench as well, Ishant and Umesh are waiting.
Rahul said, “Hopeful about Cape Town. We expected every match to be competitive. Losses like this are disappointing but we have always been a team that starves after a loss. The way they batted, the way they batted,” Rahul said. Credit goes to South Africa.”
With South Africa chasing 240 on a difficult surface, India were the favourites, but the hosts put up a memorable batting performance to register a comfortable victory.
Rahul said that his first innings score of under 202 made a lot of difference to the outcome of the game.
“We all felt that we can do something special, it was not that easy to achieve 122 (on the fourth day), the pitch was up and down, but like I said, the South African batsmen were really determined and they got the job done. Done. If I had to be really tough, we could have scored 60-70 more by winning the toss.” He also praised Shardul Thakur, who played an all-rounder in the game, including taking seven wickets in the first innings.
Rahul also lauded senior batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara for scoring a crucial 50 in the second innings under extreme pressure.
“He has been a great player for us, he has always worked for the team over the years. He has clearly been under the pump, but in the team we believe that Pujara and Ajinkya are the best batsmen in our middle order.
“We always knew they could do something like this. Hopefully it gives them confidence and they can go out and do better in the next Test.”
The South African captain registered a famous victory for his team, winning the match and scoring an unbeaten 96 on the fourth day. On the way he also got hit hard on the body which stood out in his gritty knock.
“I think the knocks I take motivate me more to perform. Some would call it stupid and some would call it brave. The big picture is for us to win.
The southpaw said, “We were struggling to get a stable batting line-up and we had to be very patient. We have assigned those positions to people who we think can play those roles and they have to do it. too good for.”
On the team’s return from a loss in the first match of the series, he said: “Batting and bowling basics don’t end there. We missed the first game. It wasn’t easy to say. We faced tough conditions. The batting unit as the face.
“As a bowling unit, the Indians were at the top at times. Huge respect for our bowling unit, they showed a lot of character. With KG (Kagiso Rabada), there was something that happened behind the scenes but we are not going Let’s get into it. Sometimes KG needs a rocket. Then you could almost feel the intensity and focus, he was in the zone.
“The moment he has that attitude, he wants to bowl and contribute, you have to use it as a captain. It was fantastic to see him on fire.” Elgar too is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of the decider of the series.
“I played a home match in Cape Town, I won’t give any details. 1-1, South Africa vs India, I don’t think you could have written a better script than this,” he said.
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