It is a very well known fact that India skipper Virat Kohli struggles to find his feet against the moving balls and despite all his success in recent past, the 29-year-old is yet to prove his mettle in the swinging conditions.
Considering the way Kohli had piled up double tons in Test cricket in the last 18 months, there were plenty of expectations from him to put up a good show against the Proteas in the first Test in Cape Town. However, the Indian captain couldn’t last much long at the crease in the first innings as he chased a delivery from Morkel Morkel and ended up a giving an easy catch to the keeper for 5. In the second innings, Kohli was outfoxed by Philander’s in-swinger after setting him up with two-and-a-half overs of away-swingers.
In contrast, South Africa’s batting maverick AB de Villiers – who is considered as one of Kohli’s biggest competitors in the modern day game – scored 65 and 35 in the two innings at Newlands.
When asked if he considered Virat Kohli to be on par with AB de Villiers or better when it comes to batting in Tests, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis said a player should be judged for his prowess all around the world.
“Anyone who gets judged on being the best in the world, whether it is a bowler, batsman or team, I feel should get judged all around the world,” du Plessis said according to Hindustan Times.
Faf’s remarks was certainly a veiled dig at Kohli and a rich tribute to de Villiers’ class. Du Plessis, who added 114-run stand for the fourth with AB in the first innings of Cape Town Test when the hosts were tottering at 12 for 3, also hinted that not only in this series, de Villiers will continue to be their batting mainstay against Australia as well.
“His job is to score big runs and make an impact with the bat. I know he is very hungry to do well, and a hungry AB usually means a big run-scoring AB. So, hopefully over the next few months, we will get a lot of runs from him,” said du Plessis.
“One less batter makes your responsibility on the top six a little bit more. I don’t mind that. Sometimes when you have a long batting line-up, you can take your foot off because someone else might come and do that. We know if we get totals on the board with the bowlers that we have, then we’ll bowl sides out,” he concluded.