IND vs SA: Former India cricketers react to Virat Kohli registering 14th ODI duck of his career
- In an attempt to drive Keshav Maharaj's tossed-up delivery through the cover region, Kohli picked out opposition skipper Temba Bavuma.
Despite scoring a half-century in the opener, Virat Kohli has looked a pale shadow of himself during India's ongoing ODI series in South Africa. The 33-year-old Kohli, who scored 51 off 63 deliveries, wasn't his exuberant self in the first game and the opposition on Friday piled more misery on the right-hander by dismissing him for a five-ball duck.
In an attempt to drive Keshav Maharaj's tossed-up delivery through the cover region, Kohli picked out Temba Bavuma that cut short his innings. It was the first instance of Kohli being dismissed by a spinner for a duck in the ODI format. He has been unable to reach the three-figure mark in the last 17 innings and former opener Aakash Chopra also dissected Kohli's dismissal, saying it was an unusual sight to see the Indian batter playing that particular shot.
"I don't think Virat wanted to loft it in the air but wanted to hit it through covers. To be honest, we had seen his fifty in the previous game but I don't think we have seen his usual self. He's set the bar high and it was out of character for Kohli to play a cover drive like that at the start. He doesn't play that shot unless he's 100 per cent certain about it," said Chopra in the Star Sports mid-innings show.
Gambhir also reiterated Chopra's views and spoke about the Paarl wicket, which saw Kohli getting dismissed for a nought for the 14th time in his ODI career.
"After a long time in ODI cricket, we have seen the ball slowing up. When you go to Australia, England or India, the ball skids and batters develop the habit of playing it on the rise.
"Kohli hasn't looked in rhythm in both the games. The pitch slowed it down and made it difficult for him to play the shot… you have to get accustomed to the conditions quickly. We saw typical South African pitches in the Test series but the surface of both ODI games has acted like an Indian wicket," said Gambhir.
After Kohli's dismissal, Rishabh Pant joined skipper KL Rahul in the middle and put up a 115-run stand. Pant kept on hitting the boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving and in the process, went past his highest ODI score of 78. He ended up scoring a career-best 85 off 71 balls hitting 10 fours and two sixes.
Rahul played the second fiddle and scored a 79-ball 55 before perishing off a Sisanda Magala delivery. Venkatesh Iyer (11) and Shreyas Iyer (22) then came in and took India's total beyond the 200-run mark. Shardul Thakur again provided the team with a late flourish, scoring 40 runs off 38 deliveries and taking India's total to 287 for six. Ashwin also chipped in with a 24-ball 25 to help the team post an intimidating total.