Latest Cricket News: Virat Kohli has appeared a pale shell of himself during India’s present ODI series in South Africa, despite striking a half-century in the opener. Kohli, 33, was not his usual flamboyant self in the first game, scoring 51 off 63 deliveries, and the opposition compounded his agony on Friday by removing him for a five-ball duck.
Kohli took out Temba Bavuma in an attempt to drive Keshav Maharaj’s tossed-up delivery into the cover region, ending his innings. Kohli was the first batsman in the ODI format to be removed for a duck by a spinner. Kohli’s dismissal was also scrutinised by veteran opener Aakash Chopra, who said it was a strange sight to witness an Indian batter playing that particular stroke.
“Virat didn’t seem to want to loft it in the air, but rather strike it through the covers. To be honest, we saw his fifty in the last game, but I don’t believe we’ve seen him in his regular form. Kohli’s set the bar high by playing a cover drive like that at the start, which was out of character for him. He doesn’t take that shot unless he’s completely confident in it “Chopra remarked this on a Star Sports mid-innings show.
Gambhir echoed Chopra’s sentiments and mentioned the Paarl pitch, where Kohli was removed for the 14th time in his ODI career for zero.
“We’ve witnessed the ball slowing down in ODI cricket for the first time in a long time.” The ball skids in Australia, England, and India, and hitters get into the habit of playing it on the rise.
“In both games, Kohli hasn’t looked in sync. The pitch made it tough for him to play the shot since it slowed it down… You must swiftly adjust to the new surroundings. In the Test series, we experienced normal South African pitches, but the surface of both ODI games has acted as an Indian wicket,” Gambhir added.
Rishabh Pant joined skipper KL Rahul in the middle after Kohli was dismissed and put on a 115-run stand. Pant continued to strike boundaries to keep the scoreboard rolling, surpassing his highest ODI score of 78 in the process. He finished with a career-high 85 runs off 71 balls, including 10 fours and two sixes.
Before succumbing to a Sisanda Magala delivery, Rahul played second fiddle and struck a 79-ball 55. After that, Venkatesh Iyer (11) and Shreyas Iyer (22) came in and took India’s total above 200 runs. Shardul Thakur once again delivered a late flourish for India, striking 40 runs off 38 deliveries to take the team’s total to 287 for six.
For Live cricket news, cricket match updates, latest cricket news, live cricket score and other cricket news follow Livematchupdates.com.