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IND vs SA | Virat Kohli will need support from Cheteshwar Pujara on Day 3, opines Sunil Gavaskar

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Virat Kohli scored 79 runs in the first innings of Cape Town Test

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IND vs SA | Virat Kohli will need support from Cheteshwar Pujara on Day 3, opines Sunil Gavaskar

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SportsCafe Desk

01/13/2022

Sunil Gavaskar has opined that Virat Kohli will need support from Cheteshwar Pujara as both of them will lead the charge on Day 3 for India in Cape Town. The former Indian cricketer further added that the visitors can win the Cape Town Test and secure a series win if Kohli stays the whole day.

India have locked horns with South Africa in the third and final Test of the three-match series in Cape Town.  India were bundled out for 223 in the first innings of the series decider, and in reply, South Africa could manage only a total of 210 runs. The visitors are poised at 57/2 in the second innings with a lead of 70 runs. Virat Kohli is playing on a score of 14 runs, while Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 9 runs on Day 2.

India lost both their openers very early in the second innings, and the South Africa bowlers tried their best to dominate the opposition batting line-up. However, Kohli and Pujara stitched an unbeaten 33-run stand before Stumps on Day 2, and helped their side from a batting collapse. Pujara played a free-flowing knock of 43 in the first innings and looked solid with the bat on the second day's play in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar stated that Cheteshwar Pujara need to support Kohli by stitching a good partnership with the Indian captain on Day 3. Gavaskar also praised Pujara for his approach in the first innings. 

"He should give Kohli company. The captain can hit the good balls for boundaries. What Kohli needs is support from the other end. He needs the confidence that somebody needs to stick around with him,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

"Well, he has got to play the game he knows best. What we have seen in the recent innings is that he is looking to push that scoreboard a lot. It’s a very, very good sign because he is looking to do that without taking any undue risks. That's what he has a to do. His judgement around the off-stump is pretty good in this series. When he is getting a half-volley, he is putting it away,” he added.

Virat Kohli scored a fighting half-century in the first innings, as he notched up 79 runs off 201 balls. The India Test captain has looked assured so far in the second innings and will have to play an anchor role for the team. Gavaskar believes that India can win the ongoing fixture in Cape Town if Kohli stays at the crease for the whole day.

"Well, if he stays the whole day, then India, you can say, will go on to win the game. His wicket is the one that South Africa will be looking for (on Day 3)," he opined. 

"I think Marco Jansen made a mistake by coming around the wicket. When he bowled over the wicket, he got out him in Centurion. It was easier for Virat Kohli. I still feel that if Jansen has to get him out, bowling over the wicket will be a better option for him,” Gavaskar said.

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