Ind vs SA: Lively pitch will test us, says skipper Virat Kohli

Updated: Jan 13, 2018, 11:06 IST | Anand Vasu

India skipper Virat Kohli says regardless of whether they play five or six batsmen for second Test beginning at Centurion today, visitors cannot afford to play any loose shots

India captain Virat Kohli during a training session at  Centurion Park on the eve of the second Test against South Africa yesterday.  pic:ap/pti
India captain Virat Kohli during a training session at  Centurion Park on the eve of the second Test against South Africa yesterday.  Pic/AP/PTI

Virat Kohli was unusually happy for a visiting captain, having had a look at the pitch in Centurion, which appeared hard and should facilitate pace and bounce. "It looks likely a really lively pitch. Exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket," said Kohli.

"We are pretty happy to see the wicket how it behaved in Cape Town that gave us many opportunities to stay in the game and make comebacks whenever we were put under pressure also. This pitch will again test us to play our best cricket and that is something we are looking forward to."

No need to panic
Kohli also stressed the need to keep calm as a unit: "I don't think we need to panic because of collapses. People need to apply themselves much better whether we are playing five batsmen or six. It doesn't mean that if you are playing six batters, you can afford to go out and play loose shots. You still need to have a solid technique and go out there and be ready to face bowling spells which are going to be difficult. We need to embrace that.

Opening combination
"As far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice what is it that we are going to go within this game. We might do something different also but there is definitely no need to panic." Kohli had a slightly confusing response when asked if Ajinkya Rahane was close to coming back into the playing XI for the second Test.

"It's funny how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days. Before the first Test, no one thought that he should be in the 11 and now suddenly people are looking at the other option," said Kohli."We certainly don't go on opinions that are created outside, and talk of the town and all those sort of things. He's a quality player, he's done well in South Africa, all conditions actually away from home. He's probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home. I explained the reasons why Rohit started ahead of him. I'm not saying that Ajinkya cannot or will not start in this game. Possibilities are all open at the moment."

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