India managed to begin their South African tour on a good note as they posted a commanding 272 on day one of the Boxing Day in Centurion. Opening batters KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were successful in seeing off the new ball while Ajinkya Rahane also looked good for his unbeaten 40. However, skipper Virat Kohli could not cash in on a start as he was out for 35. The mode of dismissal would not have pleased him as he out trying to chase a wide delivery which was way outside his off stump.
Kohli had managed to all the hard yards and batted 94 balls by displaying a great amount of patience and determination. It seemed he was set for a big score before Lungi Ngidi dismissed him. Cricketer-turned-expert Saba Karim believes Kohli should reflect on his shot selection.
Speaking on a YouTube podcast ‘Khelneeti’, Karim feels Kohli is not able to cash in on a good start. “He (Kohli), over the years, has been a dominant and an authoritative batter. And we haven’t seen that characteristic of his since the last 2-3 years. Though, he has to ponder over his shot selection. When he’s moving past the initial period, he feels that this is the moment to score a big one. And that’s when he’s getting out. And I feel that this may be a worrying factor and he has to work on this.”
Kohli has managed to get his eye in the majority of his innings in the past two years. He has also looked solid in defence and compact at the crease. The problem is he is not able to make it count. It has been over two years since the 33-year-old has scored a century.
“The stats would’ve been hurting Virat Kohli a lot. Any batter can get dismissed below 10 runs which means he’s not set yet. However, if a player is getting out after scoring 10+ runs, means he has settled. And a player like Virat Kohli, who has scored numerous tons in his prime form, he isn’t able to do that now. It now depends on how he curbs his attacking instincts in order to get past his ongoing lean phase,” Karim added.