India Test captain Virat Kohli displayed top-quality cricket on Day 1 of the ongoing third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town. Kohli stood tall against a quality bowling attack and was looking set to reach the triple-figure mark. However, Kagiso Rabada dismissed the Delhi-lad to end hopes of several Indian fans who wanted to see their favourite star smashing a ton.
The fans also saw a rare side of the Indian Test skipper, who played a disciplined inning not showing interest in the deliveries outside off – a strategy that worked for the hosts in the series opener. Kohli’s gritty knock of 79 from 201 deliveries helped India reach 223/10 in their first innings.
Impressed with Kohli’s scintillating batting, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir heaped praises on his ex-teammate, stating that Kohli kept his ego aside, which helped him accomplish the success in the first innings.
“Virat has said many times that when you go to England, you should leave behind your ego in India. Today, Virat Kohli left behind his ego in the kit bag, and this knock reminds me of his very successful tour of England, where he got beaten many times but left a lot of deliveries outside off-stump,” said Gambhir on Star Sports.
“Today, in the same way, he left deliveries outside off-stump, he got beaten as well but kept his ego with himself. He did not try to dominate the bowlers on every delivery,” he added.
After the end of Day 1, Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour also lauded Kohli for his special innings, which according to him, was evident of supreme determination and concentration.
“South Africa was very disciplined to Virat initially. He (Kohli) was not getting many balls to drive and pull, this is how he responded. He was looking really good till the point he got out. I mean, it is not a conscious thing, it was just a lapse of concentration in the last game when he chased a wide delivery. He played some cover drives today, he picked the right balls,” said Rathour in a presser.