Millennium Post

Captain Kohli bats for aggressive approach in South Africa tour

Nagpur: Aggression has been the hallmark of his batting and India captain Virat Kohli feels his teammates will need to adopt a similar approach to produce results in their gruelling tour of South Africa up ahead.

Kohli was at his aggressive best in the just-concluded second Test against Sri Lanka as he smashed a strokeful 213 off 267 balls to help India amass a huge first innings total.
"I just wanted to bat the way I bat. Get into good positions and rotate strike and score quickly so our bowlers have time to bowl the opposition out," Kohli said.
"We will need that (approach) overseas so I was looking at doing that.
"I always wanted to better myself in scoring big hundreds for the simple reason that the team benefits. When you lose concentration after a hundred, maybe two wickets can fall quickly. A set batsman can play shots easier than a new batsman so I started thinking in that way and my fitness helps me bat for longer periods," he added.
Pujara has been a consistent performer for India in Test matches, but it was heartening to see the return of Vijay and Rohit, both of whom smashed tons to give Kohli a happy selection headache for the upcoming matches. "Pujara we know, he's been very consistent. Vijay was playing after a while, he takes pride in playing Test cricket. I know it hurt him to be out and he came back really well.
"Rohit as well, making a strong case for himself in the future. He will always be there when we speak about combinations. We have a lot f Test cricket coming up," said Kohli, who was effusive in his praise for the trio.
The Indian skipper also had words of appreciation for his bowling unit, especially the pacers. "Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) has played a lot of cricket for India in the last few months. Ishant (Sharma), (Mohammad) Shami and Umesh (Yadav) did not play so much. But they bowled a lot of overs in first-class cricket and they always say that's important for rhythm," Kohli said.
"Even on this pitch, they were excellent. Although the spinners did a good job for us, Ishant was the standout bowler."
Kohli, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his record breaking double ton, reiterated that with no time in hand, the team is taking the ongoing series against Sri Lanka as a preparation for the tour of South Africa.
"We would like to think we want to prepare for South Africa. That's why we asked for pitches with help for the fast bowlers. This one (Nagpur) deteriorated by the second day. But Kolkata was the ideal wicket," he said referring to the trip starting December 27.

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