’SA were clinical with the ball,’ says Virat Kohli as he avoids speaking on stump mic incident
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Cape Town — India captain Virat Kohli has pin-pointed a “lapse of concentration” at critical moments for the series loss to South Africa.
The visitors had arrived in the country with high hopes of becoming the first Indian team to win a Test series on these shores, and would have been confident after taking a 1-0 lead after the first Test at Centurion.
However, South Africa roared back with consecutive seven-wicket victories at the Wanderers and here at Newlands to keep the tourists at bay.
“It was a great spectacle of Tests for everyone to watch; a hard-fought series. Great first game but South Africa did amazingly well. In both Tests they won, they were clinical with the ball in crunch moments,” Kohli said.
“Lapse of concentration cost us key moments and they seized those moments. They are absolutely deserved winners in the end. As I said, one of the challenges we've faced touring abroad is to make sure about capitalising on momentum. When we've done that we've won Tests away from home. When we haven't, they've cost us quite badly.”
Kohli was at the centre of a storm on the penultimate day of the series when he vented his frustrations at a decision that was overturned by the DRS. The outburst had a significant impact on his team as his bowlers lost their way during a critical period on the fourth evening.
The Indian skipper, though, did want to elaborate on his outburst.
“I have no comment to make on it [stump mic chatter from day three]. I'm not interested in making a controversy out of it. It happened, we have moved on. The reality is that we did not apply enough pressure on them consistently,” he said.
India’s batting unit certainly did not live up to expectations with their middle-order being particularly brittle. Although wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant struck a magnificent second innings century out of a total of 198, the visitors lost six wickets for just 46 runs to swing the momentum South Africa’s way.
“We’ve have had a few collapses that have cost us important moments and Test matches. It's the batting; I can't pin-point any other aspect. People talk about pace and bounce, considering their heights, they were able to get much more off the wickets in all three Tests,” he said.
“I think the way KL (Rahul) batted as an opener was heartening, Mayank (Agarwal) got stuck in on a couple of occasions. There were also a few crucial knocks from the guys in the middle period, especially Rishabh's knock in this Test was special, but the batting has to be looked into. There is no running away from that. Having collapses every now and then is not a good thing.”