I WAS NERVOUS, SAYS DU PLESSIS
CAPE TOWN: The margin of victory was big enough to be called dominant but South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis said he was quite nervous about defending 208 against India in the opening Test. “I was
Rahane’s absence to form as Rohit scored three hundreds across all formats in the preceding Sri Lanka series at home.
The interesting add-on here is Shikhar Dhawan’s twin fail- nervous. I knew that the new ball was going to be key for us and that if we could get wickets with the new ball we feel like we can get through their batting line-up,” said du Plessis after the match.
ure in the first Test. In both innings, he was squared up with short deliveries and ended up offering simple looped-up catches.
“Well, the left-right combination
always helps, that’s what we felt. It’s difficult for the bowlers to set their lines and lengths every time with the strike rotating well.
“It has worked for us in the recent past. We have to try and create plans that we feel will not let the opposition gain momentum very early on in the game and that s the idea behind it,” Kohli had explained.
It remains to be seen if how many of the three Rahul, Rahane and Ishant come into contention after the disappointing loss at Newlands. The second Test will be played in Centurion from January 13.
Meanwhile, South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has warned the visitors that the pace barrage they faced in the first Test will continue through the series despite the absence of injured Dale Steyn.
“When you’re playing at home you play to your strengths and at the moment we have some high quality fast bowlers. I’m a very fast bowling-minded coach and I guess we’ll always have to find a balance with whether or not we can get four fast bowlers in the team, first of all. “If not, then we will try and look to shape the team in other ways,” said Gibson after the first Test.
Two pacers — Duanne Olivier and uncapped Lungi Ngidi — have been called up to their squad, while all-rounder Chris Morris is also in contention for the second TEST.AGENCIES CAPE TOWN: India captain Virat Kohli has defended the selection of Rohit Sharma in the opening cricket Test, saying he was picked ahead of Ajinkya Rahane on current form.
“Well, we decided to go on current form. Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well, even in the series against Sri Lanka,” said Kohli in the post-match media conference.
“These things can always be looked at in hindsight thinking what if or what if not. But we decided to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion,” added Kohli.
Rahane, who has not been amongst the runs of late, had a successful tour of South Africa four years ago.
With 209 runs, he was third highest run-getter in the series behind Kohli (272 runs) and Cheteshwar Pujara (280).
India lost the first Test by 72 runs with batting letting them down in both the innings. CAPE TOWN: The plan was to keep Virat Kohli quiet and South Africa’s wrecker-in-chief Vernon Philander said his team executed it to perfection during the 72-run win over India in the opening Test here.
“Virat is a good player and an aggressive player. The key thing is to obviously keep him quiet and to make sure you set him up for the other one. Initially it was for me to keep him quiet upfront, and I always knew I had the one coming back,” said Philander, who took a careerbest six for 42. “It was probably two-and-a-half overs of awayswingers and then the one back at him (Kohli). It was definitely a plan to keep him quiet, and also to drag him across to make sure that when you do bowl the other one, he is on the other side of the off-stump.
“I was not worried about his DRS review. I knew it was stone dead,” he added, referring to the review asked by Kohli after onfield umpire ruled him out.
Asked if he had told anything to Kohli after the dismissal, Philander said: “I never said anything to Virat. It was in the spur of the moment. I just tried to spur my boys on; that’s what we tend to focus ON.”AGENCIES