'Fans will get to see the original Virat': Childhood coach says 'mature' Kohli will roar back to form against SA

Published on Dec 25, 2021 08:16 PM IST

In South Africa, Virat Kohli has gathered 558 runs so far at an average of 55.80.

Virat Kohli(Getty Images)
Virat Kohli(Getty Images)
By, New Delhi

During his last visit to Centurion in 2018, Virat Kohli had notched up a magnificent 153 against South Africa. Three years later, the 33-year-old Kohli is back at the venue with a century drought to end. India will lock horns against South Africa in the 'Boxing Day' Test match as the three-match Test series kick-starts in Centurion.

Kohli's exit from white-ball captaincy might help him regain the lost touch, especially when it comes to reaching the three-figure mark. With 70 international hundreds, he is just one short of equalling Ricky Ponting's tally of 71 tons. In five innings on the SA turf, Kohli has gathered 558 runs at an average of 55.80.

Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma also feels that the batter will be back in his original form during the South African challenge. "Last time Virat played an amazing innings in the Centurion and I hope he will play that once again. All his fans are eagerly waiting to see him perform just like before.

"He is a mature person. He has been captaining for a long time now and he is passionate about team India's performance. This time the fans will get to see the original Virat back in form," Rajkumar Sharma told ANI.

"It will be a tough call for team India that should be included in the Playing XI among Rahane, Pujara and Iyer. Iyer secured his place in the team after he scored his century, as this will bring a lot of pressure on the senior players. But it will be interesting to see that with what combination will Team India go," he added.

As India hope to register their first-ever away series win against South Africa in the Test format, Rajkumar said that the team's bowling unit can play a key role in trumping the opposition in their own backyard.

"Team India have a strong chance to win this series. India never won any series in South Africa earlier and they themselves are a very strong team, especially their fast bowling line-up. It is going to be a tough competition but I still think that India can win," said Rajkumar.

"India's bowling unit is also strong and they are capable of scalping all the 20 wickets. The bowling lineup of Bumrah, Siraj and Shami is extremely powerful. The way Siraj has performed and secured his place in the team is really commendable. He is very passionate and enthusiastic," he added.

After the first Test in Centurion, the action will shift to Johannesburg. The second Test will be played at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from January 3. The third and final Test match will begin from January 11 at Newlands in Cape Town.

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