Saturday, 20 January, 2018

We don't decide playing XI as per outside opinion: Virat Kohli

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Rita Gibson | 13 January, 2018, 13:29

Ahead of India's second Test match against South Africa at Centurion, one of the hottest topics of conversation has been Ajinkya Rahane - and whether he will be brought back into the playing line up to help shore up the batting, which was a far cry from its usual dominating self in Cape Town. I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka. You look at their records, it's like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India.

"I came here this morning hoping to get a 350 lead and bowl to them tonight, so obviously that didn't go to plan!" du Plessis congratulated his pace bowlers. It will have a lot more bounce than Cape Town. So you are basically depending on Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli as the two best performers in overseas conditions.

Praising Pujara's test career, Dada conveyed, "Look at Cheteshwar Pujara". If we apply ourselves, we will give ourselves a chance to have a crack at the result, which was there in this game also. Rahul because he has done well in overseas conditions.

"I knew that I had to bowl overs upfront and put us in a good position, and I just wanted to bowl and make a difference". There will be tough moments but I think even the tough moments one needs to overcome through intent. As much as scoring runs is important in a bid to win Test matches, getting wickets is also key. All the batters have not scored runs. Expressing his views, he said, "Let's not panic too much". There's not been a single fifty from the order. "I took it a bit personally up front, you are all obviously human, but you try to get over it as quickly as possible, get better, do some work behind the scenes and come back stronger". "If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side then they will fit in", he said, when responding to whether Ajinkya Rahane would find a place in the XI.

Orioles and Manny Machado avoid arbitration
Right-hander Kevin Gausman and second baseman Jonathan Schoop are Baltimore's only arbitration-eligible players without deals. Arizona was fourth in the NL in runs scored last season, and they finished second with a.445 slugging percentage.

The next test starts this Saturday on 13 January 2018 in Centurion at the SuperSport Park.

But Kohli said disrupting the bowling unit for batting troubles would be unwise and instead called on his batsmen to take up additional responsibilities of adding those 80 extra runs. "Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well, even in the series against Sri Lanka", he said.

Philander had to face criticism due to his lack of fitness during the four-match Test against England past year and he said he initially took it "personally" before deciding to work on his fitness.

India's top five will have to pull their socks up in the remaining two matches and reignite the spark to have a shot at at least drawing the series if not winning.

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