India skipper Kohli welcomes lively Centurion pitch

Captain Virat Kohli of India during the Indian national mens cricket team training session and press conference at SuperSport Park on January 12, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Captain Virat Kohli of India during the Indian national mens cricket team training session and press conference at SuperSport Park on January 12, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

India captain Virat Kohli has surprisingly welcomed the ‘lively’ pitch at SuperSport Park ahead of a must-win second test for his team against South Africa at Centurion on Saturday.

After inspecting the pitch on Friday afternoon‚ a relaxed Kohli said it was what India had hoped for because both teams will be in this contest where South Africa could wrap up the series with a match to spare.

“It looks like a really lively pitch‚ which is exactly what we wanted it to be‚” Kohli said.

“We wanted something where both teams will be in the contest and we are happy to see the wicket. This pitch will again test us to play a good game of test cricket and we are looking forward to it.

“It is good to see a lively pitch because our batsmen are looking to take on the challenge again‚ and the bowlers are looking to do the same job they did in Cape Town.”

After the Cape Town loss the spotlight has been on how India will line up in this match and Kohli hinted that they may make changes‚ while also asking his charges to show greater application.

“I don’t think we have to panic because of the collapses of the first match but people need to apply themselves much better‚” he said.

“Whether you are playing five or six batsmen‚ you still need to apply yourself well. It does not mean that if you are playing six batters you can go out there and play loose shots – you still have to have a solid technique.

“I feel that the batting order‚ through the mistakes we committed in the first game‚ will be in a much better shape to counter the South African bowlers.

“As far as opening combination goes‚ we will decide at the end of the practice what we are going to do in this game.

“We might look into doing something different but definitely no need to panic as a batting unit.

"We still talk about combinations that we will go with but it is about getting the right balance.”

Kohli added that India need not be surprised if the pitch offers considerable pace and bounce.

“I said it at my first arrival press conference that one must not be surprised by the bounce here. You have to maintain composure when you get a sudden change of bounce because here bounce can be steep‚” he said.

“It can also be steep from length balls. I think those are things that you have to mentally tune yourself and adjust to because they are part of batting in South Africa.”

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