Virat Kohli devastated after 1st cricket series loss as skipper, says ‘India not good enough’
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Virat Kohli devastated after 1st cricket series loss as skipper, says ‘India not good enough’

Virat Kohli praised the bowlers for doing their job but has lamented the failure of the batsmen after India lost the Centurion Test by 135 runs to suffer a series defeat to South Africa.

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2018 20:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,India vs South Africa,SOuth Africa vs India
Hardik Pandya of India and Virat Kohli (captain) of India leave the field at the end of play during the second day of the second Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and India held at the Supersport park Cricket Ground in Centurion, South Africa on the 14th January 2018 Photo by: Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS(BCCI)

Virat Kohli has said the batsmen have let the Indian cricket team down again after the bowlers bowled out South Africa twice in the Centurion Test. India suffered a 135-run loss and this ended Virat Kohli’s nine-series winning streak as captain while extending India’s overseas woes. (IND v SA 2nd Test Highlights | Centurion Scorecard)

Speaking at the post-match presentation after the SuperSport Park Test, a distraught Kohli pulled no punches while highlighting the key factor behind India’s loss. “The bowlers have done the job but the batsmen have let the team down again. We failed to get a good partnership and take (the) lead. We have let ourselves down from the first game into the second,” Kohli said.

READ | Lungi Ngidi gives India batsmen a hiding at Centurion, says he just ‘stuck to basics’

In the Cape Town Test as well as in Centurion, India’s top-order failed to come to the party. While the Newlands pitch was seamer-friendly, the Centurion track was more like a subcontinent surface. None of India’s top five managed a fifty at Newlands, with Hardik Pandya’s 93 the best at No 7.

In Centurion, Virat Kohli scored a sublime 153 but the next best was 47 by Rohit Sharma in the second innings as India hurtled towards defeat. Opener Murali Vijay’s 46 in the first innings was the next best.

The top order batsmen’s misery was complete with none managing to stitch a fifty-plus stand in Cape Town, with 99 being the best for the eighth wicket. In Centurion, the third wicket stand of 79 between Kohli and Vijay was the best in the match for India.

READ | India pacer Mohammed Shami rues not bowling enough vs South Africa in 2nd innings

South Africa’s fielding top notch

Kohli highlighted one key factor in which South Africa dominated over India in the Centurion Test. “As a team, you want to win collectively. We tried but we weren’t good enough. South Africa were better than us, especially in the fielding department, and that’s why they are the winners.”

India’s catching left much to be desired in the Centurion Test. Murali Vijay dropped Dean Elgar off Jasprit Bumrah on 14 while Parthiv Patel dropped Hashim Amla on 30. While Elgar’s catch did not prove costly, Amla went on to make 82. On the other hand, South Africa hung on to their chances on the final day. Morne Morkel took a brilliant diving catch to his left at deep backward square leg to dismiss Parthiv Patel for 19 while AB de Villiers took a good catch at long leg to send back Rohit Sharma for 47.

READ | Mohammed Shami rises to the occasion with four-wicket haul in Centurion Test

With this loss, India’s overseas woes have continued as their quest to win a series in South Africa for the first time gets prolonged.

The final Test starts at the Wanderers, Johannesburg on January 24.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 17:04 IST