Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Rohit s 'home' form preferred over Rahane's 'overseas' record, confirms Kohli

Rohit s 'home' form preferred over Rahane's 'overseas' record, confirms Kohli

He said: "As far as the opening combination is concerned, we are going to decide in the practice session what we are going to go with in this game... whether we will go with a different opening combination". As South Africa showed after Dale Steyn went down with a heel injury in Cape Town‚ helpful conditions are worth a bowler on their own.

After the match, he posted an emotional tweet that said, "It's sad we lost the game!"

"Look, these things can always be looked at in hindsight - thinking what if or what if not".

However, Kohli failed to reproduce the same kind of form in Cape Town, falling for five and 28 in his two innings, as South Africa won the Test by 72 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series.

The second Test between India and South Africa in Centurion will begin from Saturday.

Indeed, after a successful Test series against the Sri Lankans, Rohit had pushed his case even further when he hit an unprecedented third career double-century in one-day internationals, followed by a second Twenty20 global hundred a few days after. Whether we play five batsmen or six, the batsmen have to apply themselves better. You still need to have a solid technique and go out there and be ready to face bowling spells which are going to be hard. We need to embrace that.

"There is no need to panic as a batting unit, we have played well for a long time - and we have played well away from home as well". We kept pulling things back against a side which is very strong about us. "But we chose to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion", added Kohli. However, skipper Kohli wants to give Rohit yet another chance. Certainly, South African skipper Faf du Plessis had expressed surprise at the omission of both Rahane and Ishant, with Rohit Sharma (21 runs in two innings) and Jasprit Bumrah (4-112 in two innings) playing instead.

By then‚ word had leaked that Rahane would be left out and the theory goes that Kohli was in no mood to discuss the rights and wrongs of his fate with the Indian press‚ who tend to obsess over such matters. But it's a good sign to see the pitch being lively purely because our batsmen are willing to take up that challenge again and the bowlers are also looking forward to doing the same job they did in Cape Town. He's probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home.

Dwelling on the pitch, Kohli said, "The pitch was outstanding".

"If there's something in the wicket, he's as good as you get around the world".

The South Africa captain agreed with Kohli about this Test of several twists being a fantastic game of cricket.

"If not, then we will try and look to shape the team in other ways", said Gibson after the first Test.

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