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IND vs SA: Virat Kohli’s batting towards end could have hurt India in South Africa clash, says Gautam Gambhir


IND vs SA: Virat Kohli’s batting towards end could have hurt India in South Africa clash, says Gautam Gambhir


Gautam Gambhir has suggested that Virat Kohli was a bit slow towards the end of his knock against South Africa in Kolkata.

Kohli celebrated his 35th birthday in a grand style by scoring a record-equalling 49th One Day International (ODI) century against South Africa at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 5. This achievement placed him on par with another Indian cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, in terms of the number of centuries scored in ODI history.

The match began with Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, and Shubman Gill opening the innings. However, both were dismissed early, leaving Kohli and Shreyas Iyer to rebuild the innings. Despite facing initial challenges from South African spinner Keshav Maharaj, who troubled Kohli in the opening overs, the duo managed to establish a strong partnership. They relied heavily on rotating the strike, with Kohli playing the role of the aggressor initially.

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Kohli’s innings was marked by patience and determination. He braved the South African spin challenge and notched up a crucial half-century in 67 deliveries. His partnership with Iyer, who scored 77 off 87 balls, added 134 runs to the team’s total. Despite the disciplined bowling from the Proteas, Kohli managed to reach his century in the 49th over.

However, towards the end of his innings, Kohli’s pace slowed down a bit. He faced 119 deliveries to score his 101 runs, indicating a somewhat cautious approach as he neared his century. Despite this, his performance was instrumental in India posting an imposing total of 326 for 5.

India would go on to win the match by 243 runs in the end. Speaking to Sportskeeda, Gambhir said that it was important for Kohli to stay until the end. However, the former cricketer said that India could have been hurt by Kohli going a bit slow at the end if it was a good batting track.

“It was important for Kohli to bat deep and I feel it was just the last 5-6 overs where he slowed down a bit, maybe because he was nearing a century. But I believe there were already enough runs on the board. It could have hurt India if they were batting on a good pitch,” said Gambhir.

Gambhir went on to praise Kohli and Shreyas for negating the threat of Keshav Maharaj smartly on a track where Ravindra Jadeja achieved a lot of success.

“You got to give credit to Shreyas Iyer for the way he kept taking chances and took the pressure off Virat Kohli. Both batted really well in the middle as the best time to bat was with the new ball. They expertly negotiated Keshav Maharaj and giving him just one wicket when Jadeja picked five was brilliant,” said Gambhir

Published On:

Nov 7, 2023


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