Picked Rohit Sharma over Ajinkya Rahane on current form, says Virat Kohli

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was overly confident about his victory over South Africa in the triple format series but the shocking end results of the opening test dampened his spirits a bit. I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka. "History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good". India went in with some bold moves by opting for the young debutant Jasprit Bumrah's selection over the experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav and benching KL Rahul instead of going in with the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay; benching Ajinkya Rahane at No. 5 and opting for Rohit Sharma. You look at their records, it's like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India. "Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well", Kohli said at the post-match press conference on Monday, January 8.

Rohit Sharma (10) was bowled off the inside edge by Philander before the tourists' first-innings hero Hardik Pandya edged Kagiso Rabada to De Villiers in the slips.

Mumbai: When Virat Kohli takes the cricket field, not only the hopes of the team but also millions of Indians back home are pinned on the India skipper. But we made a decision to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion.

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At the same time, however, he felt that Kohli might still stick with the pair for the upcoming second Test. "Virat [Kohli] has shown a lot of trust in Rohit and Shikhar".

"If we had taken our chances in the first innings, even after them counter-attacking, we could have kept them to 220. But, the top order and middle order failed to perform in the first Test and Rahane will be a valuable addition to the line-up", he said.

Meanwhile, South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has warned the visitors that the pace barrage they faced in the first Test will continue through the series despite the absence of injured Dale Steyn. Steyn's comeback to Test cricket was cut short on the second day of the opening Test when he landed awkwardly while bowling, injuring his left heel. I reckon South Africa were lucky to score 286. India will have to bottle down and fight hard in the batting.

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