Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has given a suggestion to out of form Virat Kohli ahead of 2nd Test match against South Africa. Kohli, who is going through a rough patch, faced a lot of scrutiny for his dismissals in the first Test. Kohli was dismissed in a similar style in both innings of the first Test, as when he was looked well set and suddenly a lapse of concentration forced him to play a ball which was wide outside off-stump and he edged that behind the stumps. The 33-year-old faced a lot of scrutiny for his shot selection as he has been set up by several bowlers outside off-stump. The 33-year-old finished two consecutive years without scoring an international century.
Gambhir, who is very vocal about his opinions, hit back at Kohli’s critics and said that a lot of talk about his dismissal was unfounded and created unnecessary chaos.
“A lot is being said about Virat Kohli’s dismissals in the first Test match. I think some of it is unfounded and creates unnecessary chaos. Kohli has been exceptional in his run-making for India, he just needs to leave lot more balls outside the off-stump and buy time,” he wrote in his column for Times of India.
The veteran India batter further talked about senior players Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Gambhir said that he wasn’t keen to play Rahane in the opening Test but his confident 48-run knock in the first innings helped him win himself a place in the second Test.
“I wasn’t too keen to play Rahane in the first game. But with decent 48 in the first innings perhaps he would have won himself a place in second Test match too. I’d continue with Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3.”
If the ‘Boxing Day Test’ was used to breach the Proteas’ fortress at the Centurion, the New Year’s game will be all about stoutly defending the ‘Bull Ring’ bastion which has been a ‘home’ away from home for the Indian team.
Also, it was right here in 2018 when the foundation of one of India’s greatest Test teams was laid with a solid win on a track that bordered on under-prepared and perhaps gave this unit self belief to take on the world.
For captain Kohli, a Test victory at the Wanderers would reaffirm his status as one of the greatest Indian captains of all time in the traditional format with series wins in three of the four SENA nations barring New Zealand.