‘Old’ batsmen got ‘new’ life, hope of playing third test raised

johannesburg: Lokesh Rahul, who was the captain of India in the second Test against South Africa, believes that sometimes the team puts more pressure on its senior batsmen, but despite the defeat, both the old batsmen (Rahane and Pujara) batted well despite the defeat. .

From this it can be inferred that both the batsmen have ensured their place in the third Test. Although the responsibility of captaincy in the third Test will be on Virat Kohli, but despite that, both are fully expected to get a chance.

However, the captain also said that the team had to pay a price for not scoring big in the first innings. After the end of the match, Rahul said that the team was 60-70 runs behind in the first innings.

In the post-match presentation, Rahul said, “To be tough, after winning the toss, we could have scored 60 or 70 more runs in the first innings. Had that been the case, we would have had a 50-60 run lead in the second innings and that run was crucial.” would be proved.”

Apart from Rahul, no other batsman could cross the 50 mark in the first innings. If Ravichandran Ashwin, who came out to bat at number seven, had not played an aggressive innings of 46 runs, then perhaps the team would not have even reached 202. This pitch with uneven bounce was not easy at all but that score of India was the lowest score of this entire match.

South Africa took a 27-run lead as they set a target of 240 runs in the fourth innings. Captain Dean Elgar played a daring innings, smashed the balls all over his body and eventually scored an unbeaten 96 to help the team win.

In the second innings as well, India slipped from a good two-wicket haul at 155 for six for 184. Shardul Thakur, the best ever performance by an Indian in South Africa with the ball, played a quick-fire knock to get the team out of trouble.

Praising Shardul, Rahul said, “It was a great Test match for Shardul. He has made his mark every time and has won us matches. I am very pleased with his bowling. Gave me a chance to win the match.”

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane put on 111 runs for the third wicket before Thakur’s stormy innings. Both batted brilliantly and completed their half-centuries. The value of this innings increases as earlier question marks were being raised on his place in the team. Like the team management, Rahul also backed his experienced batsmen.

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Pujara (53 off 86 balls) and Rahane (58 off 78 balls), who were under attack for poor form, scored half-centuries and shared a 111-run stand for the third wicket in 23.2 overs. Both these batsmen knew that It would be difficult for him to find a place in the team going forward and hence he focused more on scoring runs.

“He has been an important player for us and he has contributed to the team for many years”, said Rahul, “There was pressure on him but in this team we think he is our best batsman in the middle order. And with his performance, he showed that he is not one to give up. We were confident that he could do it.”

Rahul said, “Hopefully this innings will give him confidence and he will do better in the next match.” Is. “Virat is feeling fine now. He has practiced in the nets in the last few days and he is also fielding on the field. I think he will be fine (for the next match),” Rahul said.

However, due to a hamstring injury, the fitness of fast bowler Mohammad Siraj, who bowled only 15.5 overs in this entire Test match, remains in doubt. “We will keep an eye on him for the next few days. He is feeling better with each day. He has started to gain confidence in his bowling. It is not easy to come back from an injury like that.”

If Siraj does not get fit in time, then in the third Test to be played in Cape Town from January 11, India have experienced options in Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

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Akash Gokhe

Akash is the Founder and Writer of the Sports Platform website. He conceived the idea of starting a Sports Platform website to channelize his love, passion, and emotions for the game of cricket and to connect other like-minded people on the platform.

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