After conceding the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town, India skipper Virat Kohli has accepted that the batsmen were not up to the mark against the fiery Proteas pace attack. Team India got bundled out for 209 and 135 in their first and second innings respectively as the hosts registered a 72-run victory and thereby took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
“Losing wickets in bunches never helps winning Tests or consolidating your position. Also, we rectified the errors we made in the first innings by letting them off after having them at 12/3. We plugged that gap pretty nicely in the morning today,” Kohli asserted in the post-match press conference.
Indian pace attack did a brilliant job to restrict the Proteas for 130 in the second innings which meant that the batters were to chase 208 in the fourth innings to win the Test. However, Indian batsmen never looked in at the crease on a seaming deck which was undercover for the last 1-day.
“Getting them out for 130, 208 felt chaseable, felt very realistic; but again, we needed someone to go out there and get 75 or 80, and not 20-25-30 runs. We wanted one big partnership to get the job done, which we failed to do and again we lost four wickets in four overs. If you do that, it is very tough for you to come back and win Test matches,” added the Indian captain.
The current No. 1 ranked Test team is scheduled to play their next two Tests in Centurion and Johannesburg, which might have pitches with more bounce and seam movement. But Kohli reckons that it will be good for their bowlers, now that they are more aware of South Africa’s batting collapses.
“Look, they had collapses too. Even in the first innings, if you take AB’s innings out, and Faf to an extent, the batting hasn’t clicked for them either. We felt we were in the game as well throughout.
“I think if we get a lively wicket again, we will really exploit those conditions. If we apply ourselves, we will give ourselves a chance to have a crack at the result, which was there in this game also. Not having got the job done hurts, and it should hurt because that’s the only way you can rectify the mistakes and come out with more motivation in the next match,” Virat said.
India went into this Test after cancelling their 2-day warm-up match, but Kohli feels that wasn’t a factor in their loss. “Even they got out for 130 in the second innings and they play here all the time. It was a wicket where things were happening every day. Look, we let ourselves down with the bat, that’s for sure," he said.
“Having been put under pressure twice, we came back really nicely into the game and gave ourselves a fair chance of winning this Test even after not having played our best cricket. So, we can take a lot of positives out of this,” concluded Kohli.