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India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli is very competitive, says Morne Morkel

The Proteas spearhead said that the Indian team have players that could beat the hosts for the very first time at home.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: January 16, 2018 19:39 IST ]
A file image of Virat Kohli raising his bat after being dismissed.Photo:AP

South Africa spearhead Morne Morkel narrows down the Team India captain Virat Kohli as a threat and has stated that the swashbuckler is very competitive. The Indian skipper was highly determined to get back on track and he did as he scored 153 runs against the Proteas on day three of the second Test at Centurion. With an overnight score of 85 on the second day, Kohli stood his ground to help reduce the deficit the visitors were trailing by in the first innings of the match. 

Morkel had taken four wickets in the first innings of the match which includes the number of Kohli as the skipper was caught out by AB de Villiers in the slips. Kohli managed to stick on as the batsmen didn't manage to last long besides Murali Vijay (46) and R Ashwin (38) who managed to give in a few inputs during the match. 

The Proteas spearhead said that the Indian team have players that could beat the hosts for the very first time at home.

"Virat is very competitive. They are over here to compete and they've got a team that could potentially beat South Africa for the first time here. That's his nature.

Morkel lauded that Kohli takes his time to adjust himself on field and once the skipper is comfortable, he can go on and on. 

"It gets him going and keeps him going. We're well aware of that but we don't take any notice of it. And if you get a batsman of his quality, you've got time to adjust.

"Bowling certain lengths, certain lines, we've got that small window to make a play. To keep him quiet on this sort of surface, we have to bowl as many dot balls as possible," Morkel said.

Morkel,who added four wickets to his tally in the first innings at Centurion, criticised the wicket and had compared the turf to the likes that at are found in India. The pacer's figures read 4/60 in the first innings but felt that with the heat and the conditions was tough for the spearhead to bowl.

"I think the pace of the wicket was the toughest aspect. You've got a small little window with the new ball. The reason might be because it's under covers overnight, but in the first hour, the balls seems a little bit quicker off the deck.

"But after that, there's actually been no pace in the wicket. It's important to come out with different sorts of game plans. You need to try a lot of things but we had runs on the board in the first innings to try different things. From a bowling point of view, it is definitely not the ideal sort of surface," he added.

When asked if he would compare it with an Indian wicket, the pacer replied, "One hundred percent, yes. It's unheard of that a spinner bowls that amount of overs on the first day. We even took the option to open in the over before lunch with a spinner (yesterday).

"There's a very sub-continental feel to it. It is tough to score, and tough to get people out. Luckily we've got some experience of that in the bank. But they are not the conditions that we want here in South Africa."

(With PTI Inputs)

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