South Africa cricketers applaud Virat Kohli ahead of Test series
By SMCS - Dec 26, 2023 11:12 am
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Senior South African players Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada applauded star Indian batter Virat Kohli before the two-match Test series, which begins at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday, December 26 as well. While captain Bavuma shared that Kohli is probably the biggest threat in the Indian batting line-up, Markram also referred to him as a fierce competitor. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Maharaj shared that a player cannot average 50 over 100 Tests without being someone special, while Rabada stated that he always enjoys the battle with the great batter as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli scored a brilliant century

However, the tussle between Virat Kohli and the South African bowlers could be one of the watch-outs for the player’s battle of the India vs South Africa Test series. Kohli has an impressive Test record in South Africa. In seven Test matches, he has smashed 719 runs at an average of 51.35 as well. Speaking to Star Sports, several South African players opined on playing against Kohli as well.

Skipper Bavuma said: “The biggest threat in the Indian batting line-up. Think you obviously can’t rule out a guy like Virat Kohli. He’s played here in South Africa quite a number of times, so he would say that he understands the conditions.”

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On the other hand, pacer Rabada also added that playing against Virat Kohli is the best way to judge one’s ability. “It’s always great playing against great players. Virat is a great player. He’s had quite some success against us, but at the same time, we’ve had success against him. It’s a battle that I look forward to always, when you measure yourself up against the best. That’s the reason why you play,” he again commented.

virat kohli
Virat Kohli scored an excellent century

However, according to Proteas batter Markram, Virat Kohli’s hunger and competitive spirit define how a player should approach the game as well. Kohli has a very good overall Test record against South Africa. In 14 matches, he has scored 1236 runs which came at an average of 56.18 with three tons and a best of 254*.

“He’s a fierce competitor. We might not always be the most skillful people, but it’s about trying to fight out, compete, have more hunger than those guys that we play against. Virat speaks to those characteristics as well,” he said.

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Meanwhile, according to veteran South African left-arm spinner Maharaj, Kohli knows his game inside out, and that is the reason he has been so successful throughout his career.

“He knows his Test cricket game. He scored runs for numerous amount of years and the amount of centuries he has got… It’s just about making sure that you can be better than him on the day. [Playing against] someone of his caliber, it’s a best way to gauge yourself in terms of where you are with your game. Someone doesn’t just average 50 overnight playing over 100 Test matches for the country,” he concluded.