April 22, 2018

We let ourselves down with bat, that's for sure, says Virat Kohli

09 January 2018, 02:03 | Francis Delgado

Dale Steyn marked his return to Test cricket with a wicket as India closed on 3-28 in Cape Town

Dale Steyn marked his return to Test cricket with a wicket as India closed on 3-28 in Cape Town

"Still feeling good about how we went about this Test match". I think it was great for Test cricket - getting a result in four days despite losing a day's play.

Steyn was selected to feature in the inaugural day-night four-day Test in Port Elizabeth against Zimbabwe but he missed that Test due to a viral infection. "It definitely ranks as one of my favourite Test matches".

Virat Kohli bemoaned India's inability to string partnerships together after they suffered a 72-run defeat to South Africa in an absorbing first Test.

He hasn't played many Test matches away from home, but this is the kind of innings (he played) we expected it from him if he played in the playing XI. Since the beginning, India started to lose wickets within regular gap. "You need to grab scoring opportunities", the skipper pointed out.The Delhi batsman also praised young all-rounder Hardik Pandya's effort, which included a brilliant 93 in the first innings, to lift India from a precarious 92-7 to 209 besides picking three wickets in the match.He's (Hardik Pandya) a strong character.

"Hardik showed a lot of character". They did that better than us. "We need to make their bowlers come back for second or third spells".

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"We didn't want Dale to bat unless AB was still there because we didn't want him to make his injury worse".

With Steyn unable to run, De Villiers needed to hit boundaries. So, they are 77 runs behind than Proteas considering the first innings. Earlier the match, team Proteas won the toss and made a decision to bat first. I think we let ourselves down with the bat, that's for sure. "We knew the pitch would speed up".

Pandya's innings was in contrast to the struggles of most of the other Indian batsmen who were kept under pressure by South Africa's barrage of four fast bowlers.

Steyn, who needed just three wickets to overhaul Shaun Pollock's record of 421 Test wickets and become the leading South African bowler, could also be in doubt for the Australia series starting from March 1. "But if we get a lively wicket our bowlers can exploit their batting again".

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