India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli coys on team selection, emphasizes on perfect team balance

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India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli coys on team selection, emphasizes on perfect team balance

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SportsCafe Desk


Virat Kohli didn't give out any clue as to what team India would field in Centurion amidst numerous speculations after their dismal batting display in the first Test. The skipper also insisted that the team is not packing after trailing 1-0 in the series and has asked fans to believe in the side.

A lot of questions were raised over the inclusion of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in the first Test in Newlands over the likes of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane, who have proved their worth away from home on multiple occasions. Numerous critics have even singled out that the decision to not start with them has actually backfired miserably for the visitors.

Though Kohli didn't give any concrete news on tomorrow's team selection, the skipper has assured that the management has been more concerned with finding the right balance.  

"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 eleven and now suddenly people are looking at the other option. For us, as a team it’s all about finding the right balance," said Kohli in the pre-match press conference. 

"If players fit in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side then they will fit in. He (Rahane) is a quality player, he’s done well in South Africa, all conditions actually away from home. I’m not saying that Ajinkya cannot or will not start in this game. Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice." Kohli added.

Bounce has been one of the difficult hurdles for the Indian players as South Africa's pace quartet of Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn ran riot on the Newlands pitch. However, Kohli was of the opinion that India won't be surprised by the bounce in Centurion and it will be more of a mental issue.

“We must not get surprised by the bounce here. We have to maintain composure when you get a sudden change of bounce, which you experience in South Africa. Here the bounce can be steep from length also. You need to mentally tune yourself to these things and accept that it is going to be a major part of batting in South Africa,” said Kohli.

Batting collapse was the sole reason why India failed in the first Test. India have also been advised to go with more batsmen now that their bowlers are evidently capable of tackling South African batsman. Kohli, however, has stated that the batsmen have studied their faults and will look to avoid loose shots.   

"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, you still need to apply yourself. 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. So I don’t think there is any need to panic on that front and as far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice today," the captain said at the pre-match conference.

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