‘Virat doesn’t need lot of practice’. Virat Kohli looked in good touch before being dismissed by Kagiso Rabada on 38 during Day 1 of the opening Test in Centurion.

Team India returned to action after the ODI series in the Tests against South Africa. With it, India’s two batting stalwarts – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – also made their first appearance since the 2023 World Cup final last month. It wasn’t quite the start India expected on the opening day of the first Test, as the side was initially left reeling at 24/3 – and then 92/4 – as Rohit and Kohli faltered relatively cheaply. The Indian skipper was the first to be dismissed on 5, while Kohli showed composure and looked like getting a big score before a scorcher from Kagiso Rabada led to his dismissal on 38.

Virat doesn't need a lot of practice
Virat doesn’t need a lot of practice

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Kohli’s Min Practice, Max Performance: Coach (‘Virat doesn’t need lot of practice’):

Virat Kohli entered the Centurion Test with just one substantial net session on Christmas Eve. Still, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour emphasized that, given his career stage, the former captain doesn’t require extensive training. Kohli opted out of the sole three-day intra-squad practice game at Tuks Oval in Pretoria and had obtained prior permission to spend a short four-day break with his family in the UK.

“The stage of his career Virat (Kohli) is, I don’t think he needs a lot of practice,” Rathour said after the end of the opening day’s play of the first Test against South Africa on Tuesday.

“He bats a lot and trains a lot. So, if he practiced a few days less, doesn’t matter much. We saw, how well he was playing. It didn’t seem he was away from red-ball cricket for six months. It’s a good sign,” the former India opener said. Kohli arrives in South Africa after a solid World Cup performance where he not only broke the record for most runs in a single edition but also smashed a world record 50th ODI century during the semi-final against New Zealand.

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KL Rahul ‘crisis man’

Rahul produced a grace-saving knock on Day 1 as he remained unbeaten on 70, propelling India past the 200-run mark. The Indian wicketkeeper-batter showed solid composure as he battled against the Proteas pacers and Rathor stated that the 31-year-old India batter handles pressure well.

“Rahul is turning out to be a man of crisis for us. Every time, there are tough situations, he is the guy who handles it well for us. Nothing special, he was clear with his game plans, defended the right balls, attacked the right ones,” Rathour said.

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