Cheteshwar Pujara

Kohli prefers to remain alone after series loss to South Africa

[caption id="attachment_61827" align="aligncenter" width="580"]WhatsApp Image 2018-01-18 at 3.51.18 PM The third and final Test will be played at Wanderers. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Johannesburg: The test series loss to South Africa has not gone down well with India captain Virat Kohli. Although Kohli accepted the loss sportingly, but it definitely would hurt his sentiments as he takes a huge pride in whatever he does on a cricket field. Every time he walks into the field, he looks for a win.

The Indian captain will have to take some harsh steps if he wants the team to do well in the longer format on overseas conditions. With the England series coming up in June followed by the series Down Under against Australia later this year. According to sources there will be scanner on at least four cricketers, which might as well prove to be their last test match in career. Chesteswar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel and Murali Vijay may be playing their last match in test career if they fail to perform in the last test (provided they get picked for the third test at Wanderers).

Kohli looked very upset with the series loss as he arrived at the Sandton Sun hotel in Johannesburg. He headed straight to his room without delaying any further.

Proteas batsman AB de Villiers has warned the Indians about a 3-0 whitewash. The mercurial batsman while speaking to scribes at the Pink Day ODI function at the Wanderers said, India have really impressed me and surprised us in terms of the bowling department so they have showed lot more skill and definitely there is lot more pace than we expected. So we know we are going to have to be watchful in that last test they will come out fighting and wanting to finish well in the test series and wanting to take that confidence into the ODIs but obviously we would love to beat them 3-0.

The wicket at the Wanderers might as well favour the Proteas pace battery as the wicket has full of grass. It will definitely have more bounce and pace than the other two wickets in the series. Considering what happened with the wicket at Centurion, Cricket South Africa will definitely hand a wicket which favours Faf du Plessis and his team. The Proteas captain did not hide his disappointment with the strip at Centurion.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has summoned the pacer duo Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini to bowl in nets and also to provide cover to the pace department.

Shardul Thakur, who was recently included in Mumbai’s 16-member squad for Super League of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, has been called into the setup to reduce the workload of full-time pacers

While Navdeep Saini scalped 29 wickets in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy tournament and was the mainstay in Delhi’s pace attack that fired the 7-time champions to the finals of the elite competition.

Saini was expected to travel with the Indian squad in the last week of December but was asked to play the Ranji Trophy final which Delhi eventually lost to Vidarbha.

The Indian cricketers were given a three day break from cricket. Few cricketers like Ravindra Jadeja went to the Lions Park in the city.

The third and final Test match is scheduled to take place from January 24 in Johannesburg.

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