Batting coach Vikram Rathour said Virat Kohli’s shot selection was better than his most recent knocks after the India captain came up with a gritty 79 on Day 1 of the 3rd and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Kohli hit his 2nd slowest fifty as the skipper batted out 201 deliveries to help India post 223 another disappointing effort from the batting unit, especially after opting to bat.
Speaking to the press after 11 wickets fell on Day 1 of the 3rd Test at Newlands, Vikram Rathour said the team management was never concerned by Virat Kohli’s batting form even as the Test captain’s hundred-less run extends beyond 2 years in international cricket.
Kohli missed out on his 71st international hundred by 21 runs as he fell while trying to accelerate after losing partners in regular intervals. Kohli poked at a length delivery from Kagiso Rabada after having shown incredible discipline, especially with drives outside the off-stump.
Notably, the India captain had failed in both the innings of the first Test, chasing wide deliveries but he made a conscious effort to choose the better deliveries to play what has become his favourite scoring shot.
“There was never a concern with the way Virat was batting, he was batting well. As a batting coach, I was never concerned that he is not batting well,” Rathour said.
“He was looking very good in the nets and very good in the games also. He was getting starts, one good change today was that he was more disciplined today. I agree with that, he looked really good and solid. With a bit of luck, this could have been a big one but I am happy with the way he played today,” he added.
Rathour said lapses in concentration led to his downfall in the first Test but Kohli looked more composed than in the recent times on Tuesday in Cape Town.
“South Africa was very disciplined to Virat initially. He was not getting many balls to drive and pull, this is how he responded. He was looking really good till the point he got out. I mean it is not a conscious thing, it was just a lapse of concentration in the last game when he chased a wide delivery. He played some cover drives today, he picked the right balls,” he added.
India missed out on an opportunity to post a more competitive total on the board as they were bowled out for 223 despite Kohli’s 79. However, they fought back with the early wicket of South Africa captain and 2nd Test hero, Dean Elgar.
Rathour conceded that India would have liked to score more, especially after having opted to bat but stressed they have the bowling line-up to prevent South Africa from taking a decisive lead.