Cricket

Rohit up for the challenge: Kohli

Faf du Plessis.

Faf du Plessis.  

du Plessis says Maharaj can trouble the Indians.

Virat Kohli’s visage sported a glow and a smile that come with success. The relentless run-maker with class and timing is also India’s most successful Test captain.

After leading India to a crushing Test series triumph over the West Indians in the Carribbean, Kohli is eyeing a victory over the South Africans at home. And with every win adding to India’s tally in the World Test championship, the Indian skipper is excited.

In no rush

The team management has been taking decisions ahead of the Test. Kohli confirmed, “Rohit [Sharma] is going to start for us. We’re in no rush. He’ll be given space to find his own game and come into his own.

“He’s up for the challenge and we are sure, he will, sooner than later, find his game at the top. Once he is in his zone, he can do great things for the team.”

The skipper said wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha would be a part of the eleven. “Saha is fit and fine to go. According to me, he’s the best keeper in the world, so in these conditions, with what he’s done in the past, he starts for us.”

Kohli said both R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja would play the Test here. “Jaddu, we felt, was in a better zone, as far as him performing overseas and what he’s done in the past season for the team, so yeah, from that point of view he started in West Indies.

No-brainer

“But look, wherever the conditions provide us to go ahead with two spinners, obviously Ash is going to be a threat, and in home conditions, with his batting credentials, and the way he bowls as well, he’s always going to be starting with Jadeja, so that was a no-brainer for us.”

Kohli admitted the Indian batsmen, with a lot of focus on playing pace, did have problems against some good spinners at the international level. “At home we mainly play loopy spin. But at the international level, we found spinners who were bowling at around 90 kmph, who were quicker through the air. We had to work on that.”

Exciting

South African captain Faf du Plessis was pleased about his team playing its first World Test championship series. “It’s very exciting for all of us, it’s something fresh, something new. We’ve been playing a lot of Test cricket but this is the first of its kind. It has been a gap of Test cricket for us. And we are coming to India.”

The South African captain said playing Tests in India was demanding. “ I think what Test cricket in general does to you that if there is a flaw in your game, or if there is something that you’re not quite on top of against an opposition, generally Test cricket exposes that in your game. It turns a lot here.”

du Plessis said he enjoyed his conversations with Amol Muzumdar, roped in as the batting consultant by the Proteas. If the pitch offered turn then left-armer Keshav Maharaj, “as good as any in the world” would trouble the Indians, he said. And on the hard, dry surfaces, reverse swing could be a big factor, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:21:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/rohit-up-for-the-challenge-kohli/article29568324.ece

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