A shocked India captain Virat Kohli’s defense against Cheteshwar Ajinkya R Rahane and
Pujara was not a lot of conviction when he took the ball to an ad hoc committee for
selection regarding the fate of fate these two senior batters who aren’t performing well.
Pujara and Rahane were unsuccessful in five of six games and haven’t had any accurate
contributions throughout the season except for a couple of knocks in and out and, following
the shocking 1-1 series loss to South Africa, it seems to be gone for the veteran players of
95 and 82 matches respectively.
“I cannot sit here and talk about what’s going to happen in the future. That’s not for me to
sit here and discuss. So you probably have to speak to the selectors, what they have in
This is not my job,” an angry Kohli was asked about the message being communicated to
young players who are waiting to take over Rahane as well as Pujara.
The duo of Pujara and Rahane as his teammates of the log — and the former made his Test
debut before him; it was a challenge for Kohli to climb the slippery slope to where he was
forced to acknowledge that both are over their sell-by date.
“As I have said before, I will say again, we will continue to back Cheteshwar and Ajinkya
because of the kind of players they are, what they have done in Test cricket for India over
the years, playing crucial knock in the second innings (in Johannesburg) as well.
These are kind of performances we recognize as a team,” the captain said, however unlike
previous times when Kohli determinedly smashed into the ground to score an issue, these
words were merely a thought.
Then it was released with an additional rider.
“What the selectors decide to do, I obviously will not comment sitting here.” So it’s not
worth harping about ‘ifs’ and ‘buts.’
Kohli has admitted that the inability to defeat South Africa in South Africa is disappointing;
however, he has not believed in “what could happen if’ ideas.
“We are indeed very disappointed as it’s a natural part of the sport, especially for a team
that’s so driven and believes we can win anywhere in the world.
But, having done that, it’s even more disappointing not to get the result we wanted.
That’s part of the sport. Accept and move on.” When asked if the two defeats don’t
represent the effort India had put into, Kohli said: “That’s part of the game.
I’m not able to tell what would have happened had this had happened or what would have
We indeed lost by 1-2. However, those balls did not take the edges and did not go to slips.
“So ifs and buts have no place in sport as it such a beautiful thing that you play one
moment at a time and when that moment passes away there’s no point thinking about it as
there are more and more moments that follow and you have to make sure that you stay in
the present and capitalize on all those moments individually.” For Kohli, If they had been
supposed to win the tournament, they would have been victorious.
“I won’t look back at things that could have gone our way as if it had to go our way, and it
would have gone our way.
So I don’t think there’s any point focusing on it anymore.”
Pant’s knock is a top-quality one.
Rishabh Pant’s hundred helped India at bay in the 3rd Test, and the skipper was given an
“It was a high-quality knock. That’s the talent he possesses, and we understand his quality.
He is a special talent and can do special things.”
On the ODIs, I can talk from the player’s perspective.
Even amid the devastation, Kohli didn’t lose his humorous sense of humor when he
reminded everyone that he’s no longer the ODI captain when asked about how this defeat
affected team morale ahead of the upcoming Three-match series of 50 overs.
“I can talk from a player’s point of view,” Kohli declared, and it wasn’t hard to grasp what
he meant. “Driven and motivated to perform in the ODI series. I don’t think we will take
this into ODIs.”