India batting coach Vikram Rathour on Tuesday said that he was impressed with Test skipper Virat Kohli’s discipline on Day 1 of the ongoing third Test against South Africa. Skipper Kohli top-scored with a knock of 79 as India were bundled out for 223 in the first innings of the ongoing third Test here at Newlands, Cape Town. Kagiso Rabada scalped four wickets for the Proteas. “There was never a concern with the way Virat was batting, he was batting well. As a batting coach, I was never concerned that he is not batting well. He was looking very good in the nets and very good in the games also. He was getting starts, one good change today was that he was more disciplined today. I agree with that, he looked really good and solid. With a bit of luck, this could have been a big one but I am happy with the way he played today,” said Rathour while replying to ANI question during a virtual press conference.
Further talking about Virat, Rathour said: “There are always a few adjustments here and there. No major changes, I do not think when you are playing international cricket, you can make technical adjustments, not any technical changes definitely. Pujara has gone to legside in his stance and that has helped him a little bit.”
“South Africa was very disciplined to Virat initially. He 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.”
At stumps on Day 1, South Africa’s score read 17/1 with the hosts still trailing by 206 runs. Aiden Markram (8*) and Keshav Maharaj (6*) are currently unbeaten at the crease for the hosts. Jasprit Bumrah took Dean Elgar’s wicket before the close of play.
Talking about India’s batting performance, Rathour said: “These are challenging conditions, they are not easy to score runs but we are below par even today. We should have scored at least 50-60 runs more, that’s what we were expecting. That’s the thing, Virat played a phenomenal inning, Pujara was looking good but then they bowled a good spell, conditions were overcast, it was challenging for batting. But there were some soft dismissals in the latter part of the innings.”
When asked about Ajinkya Rahane’s form, Rathour said: “No specific numbers are being discussed, he is trying his best and he is looking really good in the nets. He has played some useful knocks in this series as well. He needs to convert one of his starts into a big one and that is what he is trying for. We are hoping as management that he comes good.”
“I can assure you that this management would want to give one extra chance than one less so we will always think along those lines,” he added.
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