CAPE TOWN: India batting coach Vikram Rathour
on Tuesday said Virat Kohli
reaped the rewards for being more disciplined in his off-side play before calling his team’s performance on Day 1 of the third Test “below par”.
India skipper Kohli
was a picture of patience and perseverance in his well-crafted 79 but South Africa gained the upper hand by bowling out the visitors for an underwhelming 223.
“There was never concern with the way he (Kohli) was batting, I mean he was always batting well, I thought as a batting coach, I was never concerned that he is not batting well, he was looking very good in the nets, he was looking very good in the game also, he was getting starts.
“One good change today, he was more disciplined, I agree with that, so he really looked good, really good solid and with a bit of (more) luck, he could have converted into a big one, but I am happy (with) the way he played,” elaborated Rathour at the post day media interaction.
Kohli had been found wanting in the off-stump corridor heading into the third Test.
On the overall batting performance, Rathour did not sound too pleased.
“These are challenging conditions, not easy conditions to score runs in, but you are right, we are below par. We could have scored 50/60 more runs, that’s what we were at-least expecting,” Rathour said.
According to the batting coach, there were soft dismissals in the later part of the innings and the batters could have done a better job.
“Virat played a phenomenal innings…Pujara was looking really good, but then they bowled a good spell in the morning, the conditions were overcast and they were challenging (for batting), but again I thought there were some soft dismissals in the later part of the innings, we could have done better definitely,” admitted Rathour.
The 52-year-old former India batter also said that they would hope to restrict South Africa to a low total on day two.
In Pics: Kohli resolute as South Africa claim first day honours in third Test
<p>Indian captain Virat Kohli made a resolute 79 but bowlers dominated the first day of the series-deciding third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Tuesday. (Reuters Photo)</p>
<p>India were bowled out for 223 but hit back when Jasprit Bumrah claimed the wicket of South African captain Dean Elgar shortly before the close. South Africa finished the day on 17 for one. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)</p>
<p>The Indian batsmen struggled after Kohli won the toss and decided to bat under an overcast sky on a well-grassed pitch which offered seam movement for the South African fast bowlers. (Reuters Photo)</p>
<p>Kagiso Rabada, playing in his 50th Test, took four for 73 and eventually won an enthralling duel with Kohli when the Indian captain was ninth man out. Left-arm fast bowling discovery Marco Jansen took three for 55. (AFP Photo)</p>
<p>Kohli defied the bowlers for more than four hours in facing 201 balls. He was involved in the only significant partnerships of the innings, 62 for the third wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (43) and 51 for the fifth wicket with Rishabh Pant (27). (Reuters Photo)</p>
<p>Without a century in his previous 14 Tests, Kohli was clearly determined to make a major contribution on a day when most of his teammates struggled. Refusing to be tempted into playing any rash shots, Kohli was content to leave the majority of the balls he faced early in his innings. It took him 15 balls to score his first runs, a sweetly-timed cover drive for four off Marco Jansen. (Reuters Photo)</p>
<p>Kohli hit 12 fours as well as a hooked six off Rabada. His battle with Rabada provided the most compelling cricket of the day with the South African fast bowler beating him outside the off stump on several occasions and inducing an edge which fell just short of Aiden Markram at second slip. (AFP Photo)</p>
<p>Jansen, who took 12 wickets in the first Test, again made an impact, breaking the blossoming third wicket partnership, forcing Pujara to push at a ball which moved away after earlier producing a delivery which nipped back at the batsman. Jansen also ended the stand between Kohli and Pant, having the wicketkeeper caught by Keegan Petersen at gully. (Reuters Photo)</p>
<p>The teams are locked at 1-1 in the three-match series after South Africa won the second Test in Johannesburg by seven wickets. The Indian bowlers had eight overs before the close to get at the South African openers. Bumrah responded in superb style bowling four maidens and picking up the crucial wicket of Elgar. (AFP Photo)</p>
<p>The South African captain Elgar, who guided his team to victory in Johannesburg last week with a defiant 96 not out, made only three before he was forced onto the back foot and edged Bumrah to Pujara at first slip. (AFP Photo)</p>
“The lesser the runs, I hope it will be an equal innings and they won’t get a big lead,” he signed off.