Kohli-Pandya partnership will be crucial for India on Day 3
January 15, 2018
India were in a spot of bother at the close of play on Day 2 on Sunday but pacer Ishant Sharma feels the visitors have the chance to take the ongoing second cricket Test away from South Africa if Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya build up a good partnership on Monday.
Skipper Kohli scored a valiant 85 to keep the visitors afloat by finishing the day at 183 for five in reply to South Africa’s 335 all out in their first innings.
Kohli held together India’s innings with a classy unbeaten knock which came off 130 balls and was studded with eight boundaries. Hardik Pandya (11 not out) was giving Kohli company at the crease.
The duo added 19 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket.
The visitors, who are down 0-1 in the three-match series, still trail South Africa by another 152 runs.
“I think it’s a pretty important partnership, obviously, because the way Virat is playing it is totally a different game. If Hardik gets going he can take the game away from the opposition. After tea yesterday, the run out from him was a game changer for us. He backs his strength totally and I am hopeful they will take the game away from South Africa,” Ishant said.
“The balance is there currently. If Virat and Hardik have a good partnership then tomorrow’s morning session is going to very important for us. And it is vital how we play tomorrow.
That is very important for us,” he added.
The senior pacer took returned with figures of 3 for 46 on his return to the playing eleven. Ishant later revealed that he was in line to play the first Test but didn’t take the field in Cape Town owing to illness.
“Actually I cannot blame anyone for this. I was supposed to play the first Test but I fell ill as soon as we reached here. I wasn’t fully recovered from fever so I didn’t play the first game.
“I am the senior fast bowler of this team so I have to take responsibility. If I am ready to take those important wickets for the team, I am always up for it,” Ishant said.
Ishant said his plan was just to bowl in right areas so as to make life difficult for the South African batsmen.(Agencies)