Virat Kohli has admitted that there is “no running away” from the fact that India’s batting needs to improve after the team lost a closely fought Test series 2-1 to South Africa.
India had won the first Test in Centurion, but South Africa ended up chasing 200-plus totals in both Johannesburg and Cape Town to win the series, sealing it with a seven-wicket triumph at Newlands on Friday, the fourth day of the third Test.
All of Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara averaged in the low 20s in the series, having featured in all three Tests. The tour continued a poor run for Pujara and Rahane, India’s regular No.3 and No.5 for a long time now, but whose form has come under criticism increasingly with each series. Since the start of 2020, Pujara has averaged 26.29 from 20 Tests, while Rahane has averaged 24.08 from 19 games. As an editor, I am tired of mentioning these stats every now and then. I wonder when the Indian selectors will wake up.
While India have played against top-quality attacks in bowling-friendly conditions in the last couple of years, Pujara and Rahane’s averages are at the bottom for those who have batted at least ten innings in the top order (from No.1 to No.6).
“It is definitely batting. I don’t think we can pinpoint any other aspect of our game as a team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation when speaking of what led to the defeat. “Yes, the batting obviously has to be looked into. There’s no running away from that. Having collapses every now and then is not a good thing. And that’s something we need to analyse and correct, moving forward.”
“Honestly, I cannot sit here and talk about what’s going to happen in the future,” Kohli said. “That’s not for me to sit here and discuss, you probably have to speak to the selectors, what they have in mind, because this is not my job. As I said before and I will say again, we have continued to back Cheteshwar and Ajinkya because of the kind of players they are, what they have done in Test cricket for India over the years, and playing crucial knocks in the second Test as well.
“You saw that important partnership in the second innings [of the second Test], which got us to a total that we could fight for, so these are the kind of performances that we recognise as a team. What the selectors have in mind and what they decide to do, I obviously cannot comment at this moment sitting here.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.