India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli should continue to show faith in current team, says Sourav Ganguly
By: Express Web Desk |
Published: January 12, 2018 4:33 pm Rohit Sharma failed to deliver with the bat in the first Test in Cape Town. (AP)
It was a humbling experience for India’s strong batting line-up led by skipper Virat Kohli in the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town. While the bowlers kept the visitors in the hunt, the batsman failed to chase down the low total of 208 runs and India suffered a 72-run defeat. The selection of Rohit Sharma over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who has a better overseas average, received massive criticism and with Sharma failing to deliver with the bat, critics called for making changes in the playing XI in the second Test.
But in spite of all the speculations regarding possible changes in the team, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said that the side should keep faith in their current set-up.
“Virat Kohli should not worry about such things [team combination]. Although KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane have a good history of scoring runs away from the sub-continent and have better records as batsmen, India can’t just chop-and-change in every game. They have shown faith in the current batting and that should continue in the next Test as well. They still have two more Tests to play and I feel all the matches will produce results,” Ganguly wrote in a column for Times of India.
On the strong bowling display by Indian seamers, the 45-year old said that the ability to get 20 wickets gave India the chance to go for a win in Cape Town. “There has been a lot of talk about the combination. India did the right thing by going in with five bowlers. As much as scoring runs is important in a bid to win Test matches, getting wickets is also key. The reason why we were thinking of an Indian win at some point is because the bowlers got 20 wickets and that will continue to be an important criteria over the next two Tests,” he said.
Ganguly further went on to praise allrounder Hardik Pandya, who scored 93 runs in the first innings and almost saved India from a disaster. “Hardik Pandya came good with the bat and India should persist with him. The problem lies with the overall batting performance, and this has to be fixed soon. There will be lot of talk about players who were not in the playing eleven. That’s always the case when you lose,” he said.
The former left-handed batsman added that the Cape Town pitch posed a challenge for the side as Indian batsman were not acclimatised with the conditions. “I have played on similar sorts of pitches in the past, at Headingley or the Wanderers, and though India finished on the winning side then, the bowlers were always in the game. To be honest, this was a tough pitch for Indian batsmen as it was the first Test of the series and the boys were still getting used to the conditions,” he said.
The second Test between India and South Africa in Centurion will begin from Saturday.
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