SA vs IND: Virat Kohli, Lungi Ngidi and other talking points post 2nd Test
Centurion: Virat Kohli-led India have had a forgettable outing in South Africa so far, losing both the opening Test matches, despite showing a hard-fought effort in both the games.
After an impressive start in the first Test, bowling out the Proteas for 286, the India batsmen failed to perform upto expectations, with Virat Kohli himself failing to find runs.
Are India too dependant on Virat Kohli?
Virat Kohli’s 2018 did not start as expected, after having just aggregated 33 runs from the first Test match. However, the captain bounced back in style, to play a knock of 153 in the first innings of the second Test. Half of India’s total was scored by Kohli himself, whereas the rest of the team failed to score much.
Apart from Kohli’s knock, Murali Vijay’s 46 and Ravichandran Ashwin’s 38 were the only positive takeaway’s from the visitors’ innings.
No Dale Steyn, no problem!
The hosts seemed to have moved on from Dale Steyn’s injury, which has kept him out of the series.
After Philander picked up nine wickets in the first match, Lungi Ngidi seems to have found his place in the South Africa XI, having taken seven wickets in his debut match, taking one wicket in the first innings and six in the second innings.
This will be a selection headache for coach Ottis Gibson, who will have to take a call on Ngidi when Steyn returns for South Africa’s home series against Australia.
India’s opening conundrum
India’s top-order batting conundrum continues to remain a question. The visitors brought in KL Rahul in place of Shikhar Dhawan for the second Test, and that too failed, as Rahul just managed a total of 14 runs from two innings. It will be interesting to see how the visitors will go ahead in the dead rubber next week.
Murali Vijay, meanwhile, showed that he is still one of the batsmen to be considered as he played a knock of 46 in the first innings, but failed to follow that up, scoring just nine in the second innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Ishant Sharma?
There was a lot of talk on Ishant Sharma being played in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the recently-concluded Test match. The former was selected over Bhuvneshwar, keeping in mind the bouncing nature of the Centurion pitch.
However, Ishant answered his critics, taking five wickets over the two innings, which in turn went in vain.
Meanwhile , Mohammed Shami has been the lead bowler for India at all times. Shami, too, came good this time around having taken four wickets in the first innings and one in the second.
In fact, Shami acted as a support for Ishant Sharma, who was there to defend runs as well as take wickets.
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis continue to haunt India
The duo of AB de Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis have been the ones to watch out for in terms of the hosts’ batting. While de Villiers scored a knock of 80 in South Africa’s second innings in the second Test match, du Plessis fell just two runs short of a fifty, having been dismissed for 48. However, the captain had already scored two fifties coming into the second innings.
Throughout the rest of the series, this duo will be the key for South Africa’s triumph, and the visitors will be eager to stop them.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a Deccan Chronicle.)
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