Johannesburg [South AfricaI): Team India head coach Rahul Dravid said that he is hopeful of seeing Virat Kohli return for the third and final Test against South Africa slated to be played in Cape Town from January 11-15.
Dravid’s remarks came after India stumbled to a seven-wicket loss in the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. Virat Kohli had missed the second Test due to back spasms and in his place, KL Rahul stepped in to lead the side.
“Virat Kohli should be fine from all accounts, he should be fine. He has had the opportunity to run around a little bit, he has had the opportunity to test it a little bit. Hopefully with a couple of net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good to go. Everything I am hearing and just having a chat with him, he should be good to go in four days time,” said Dravid during a virtual press conference.
When asked about his take on India’s batting performance in the series so far, Dravid said: “It has been challenging wickets for both the teams, South Africa’s fourth innings was probably their best with the bat. Yes, as a batting unit we can look to seize a few key moments and when we get partnerships, we can look to make them longer. It was challenging in the first innings but we could have gotten 55-60 runs more which could have made a huge difference.”
“Certainly, we would like to bat a little better. Maybe the guys who got starts could have converted them into 100s. That was the difference in the first game, we had Rahul scoring century for us and we ended up on the winning side. Dean Elgar scored 96 in this Test and South Africa ended up on the winning side,” he added.
Dean Elgar played a captain’s knock scoring an unbeaten 96 to take the hosts to a 7-wicket win levelling the 3-match series 1-1 against India. After the rain interruption, the play finally started on the penultimate day of the Test match where South Africa resumed the day with an overnight score of 118/2. Elgar and Bavuma comfortably took South Africa home with the captain fittingly scoring the winning runs as the hosts levelled the 3-match Test series 1-1.
“Hanuma Vihari played really well in both the innings. He batted beautifully in the second innings, Shreyas Iyer batted well for us in the past. The guys have to take heart from the fact that they are doing well when the opportunity is presenting itself. It happens, it is the nature of the sport and we can take confidence from the way Vihari batted in this game,” said Dravid.
“I would not say we were complacent in this game, we were in this game. We felt 240 in the final innings would not be easy to defend, but with little bit of luck, we would have had much better chance. It is something an area we can look to get better at, but I would not put it down to being complacent,” he added.