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India's Test series defeat in South Africa learning curve for Virat Kohli & Co: Harbhajan Singh

India's much-vaunted line-up crumbled against South African pace attack to concede a 0-2 lead in the three-match series.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: January 19, 2018 21:57 IST ]
Image Source : BCCI South Africa celebrate after dismissing Hardik Pandya in Centurion

Urging the fans to support Indian cricket team after it lost the Test series in South Africa, India's seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh titled the defeat as a "learning curve" for the Virat Kohli & Co. According to Harbhajan, Virat Kohli should be backed to the hilt since it is his first "real overseas tour" as captain.

Chasing two sub-300 targets -- 208 at Cape Town and 287 at Centurion -- India's much-vaunted line-up crumbled against South African pace attack to concede a 0-2 lead in the three-match series.

Kohli dropped Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second Test despite a good show from the paceman at Cape Town and has not included Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI so far.

"Everybody wants to improve. Let's support the team in this hour. We have not played as well as we would have expected. Maybe next time. This is a great learning curve. Hopefully we will bounce back strongly. They need to back each other," Harbhajan told PTI after his arrival for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 tournament.

Kohli has the luxury of a formidable pace attack, well complemented by off-spinner R Ashwin but Harbhajan refused to compare the Indian skipper with his predecessor MS Dhoni.

"I don't want to compare. They played in different era. Every time we toured we had the best chance of winning. I don't want to compare teams of different era. Kohli with Dhoni or the former players like Rahul Dravid, VVS and Sachin.

"Captaincy comes with a lot of responsibility. He has done really well so far. This was his first real overseas challenge. I don't call Sri Lanka a real overseas challenge with similar conditions (like India)."

Kohli has been awarded the ICC Cricketer of the Year and also bagged the top honours in ODIs.

"Kohli has been setting very high standards. I'm very happy to see him at the top of this game."

The 37-year-old who has been released by his IPL side Mumbai Indians is here to lead Punjab in the final-leg of the domestic Twenty20 tournament.

"We have done really well in Delhi," he said about their North Zone campaign where they won three matches including a two-run humdinger against table toppers Delhi.

"It's always good to see a lot of young and exciting talents coming up. It's good to compete with them. We have played well in Delhi. We have been bowling fine. Like any other cricketer, I also wish to do well and make a case for myself. 

Definitely I see this as a chance. It will be nice to win the Trophy," he signed off.

(With PTI inputs)

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