Kohli: India pleased with 'lively' pitch

Maricruz Casares
Enero 14, 2018

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was delighted after his three wickets helped India reduce South Africa to 269/6 in their first innings on the first day of the second Test match on Saturday.

Du Plessis also touched on AB de Villiers' return.

"It is good to see a lively pitch because our batsmen are looking to take on the challenge again‚ and the bowlers are looking to do the same job they did in Cape Town". With India receiving flak for selection of Rohit Sharma over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who has a better overseas average, it is likely he might have to sit out in Centurion to make way for his state-mate.

"I am not made that way at least". Though Amla prefers the latter, a trickier pitch demanded more application from him, just the sort of thing he needed to find his fight again. It was a sudden comeback from the visiting Indian side in the final hour of play to even out the honors for the day. South Africa crossed 200 in the 64th over, but not before losing de Villiers as he played on to Ishant Sharma (1/32), who was rewarded for his toiling spells.

In the pre-match press conference on Friday, when Kohli was asked about Rahane's chances of playing, he praised the Mumbai right-hander as a "quality player" but did not confirm his place. And then when we walked into the ground yesterday, it was white in colour, the grass was coming off. And it took a brilliant fielding effort from Hardik Pandya to change the complexion of the game.

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While pacers have been leading the charge overseas, their ability to take wickets on home ground has actually declined in comparison with spinners.

"Our bowling attack is very skilled, as we have seen in the past and in the last game". That's the way it goes, right? What I got from the groundsman was that it was burnt from the heat. "So, this was one of those days".

"It's special to be ranked as the No.1 Test bowler in the world". Even the spin that he got was from the dampness in the morning session, and he had to work harder in the second half of the day.

Kohli strode in with India under pressure at 28-2 after losing two wickets in two balls. In the end that all backfired on them in the form of a defeat with a margin of 72 runs. I like to believe I was just dogged enough. On tracks with assistance for seamers, there will always be one ball with wicket written over it and the visitors need to ensure they do their bit before it comes their way. If we play in series where the ball dominates, so be it. "My first-class team-mates would tell me that I have to develop a lot of patience and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check for me". "Try and deliver from different positions in the crease, and I was really enjoying it", he added.

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