Former South African pacer Morne Morkel shared words of advice for the Proteas pace unit on how to tackle Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Team Indian skipper Virat Kohli was the lone warrior for the side in the first innings of the ongoing third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
The 33-year-old played a gritty knock of 79 runs to help his team post a total of 223 runs on the board. While wickets kept tumbling at one end, Virat Kohli carved his way through the masterful half-century in 159 balls, second slowest in his career.
The Indian skipper looked very compact and showed immense discipline to the deliveries outside off-stump.
Although the wait for his 71st century continued, his innings of 79 runs off 201 balls was very critical in the context of the game as he kept his side afloat and helped them post a fighting total on the board. The right-hander was then dismissed in the 73rd over by Kagiso Rabada.
Speaking on Star Sports, former Proteas pacer Morne Morkel said that when playing against Virat Kohli, bowlers need to forget his name because the nerves will get better of them and they’ll start overthinking about the game.
He added that while bowling to Indian skipper, bowlers just need to focus on their plans and South African pacers did that well.
"I think when you play against Virat, firstly you need to forget about the name. You know you can't play the man. Soon as you start playing the man, the nerves will get the better of you. You will start overthinking the game. We know how strong he is, you know off his pads when you bowl too straight.
"In the subconscious mind, you say don't bowl too straight. But you know you are bowling too straight. So, its important when you play against Virat, if you take out the quality of Virat and just really focus on the plan that you guys discussed before the game and South Africa did that brilliantly," Morne Morkel said.
Morne Morkel further heaped rich praise on Virat Kohli for his knock in the first innings of the ongoing third Test, saying that he played well on the surface, where batters need to earn the right to score.
He added that it was unfortunate that the Indian skipper ran out of partners but labelled his knock ‘fantastic’.
"It was a patient innings for Virat, I thought. He played really, really well. It was a sort of surface where you have the earn the right to score. The ball was sort of moving around. At the start, bowlers bowled really well but there was going to be a period in the innings, where he can go, 'okay, I am going to flip the switch now.
“I am going to put the pressure back onto South Africa. Unfortunately, he ran out of partners but I thought it was certainly a fantastic knock for him,” he concluded.
After putting 223 runs on the board, India ended the day on high as Jasprit Bumrah removed Dean Elgar to leave South Africa tumbling at 17/1 at Stumps on Day 1.
(Star Sports inputs)