Follow-on call depends on Kohli, says Ashwin

India's Ravichandran Ashwin stayed away from commenting on South Africa's follow-on after the visitor was all-out for 275 on Day 3 of the second Test.

India skipper Virat Kohli shares a light moment with Ravindra Jadeja on day three of the second Test.   -  AFP

As Ravichandran Ashwin came in for the post-match media interaction on Saturday evening, the first question that the spinner faced was whether India will enforce a follow-on against South Africa on Sunday.

Ashwin dodged the question, saying that it will depend on captain Virat Kohli. “At least I have not thought about the follow-on. I think the captain will decide overnight on what he should do…” Ashwin said.

The Indian bowlers had a long day as Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander forged a 109-run partnership for the ninth wicket to drag the innings till the last over of the day. And Ashwin admitted that it will also depend on “how the bowlers recover tomorrow morning.”

READ | Ashwin four-for gives India 326-run lead despite Maharaj, Philander fightback

South Africa’s Temba Bavuma, too, echoed a similar opinion. “Their bowlers have been in the field for quite long, so if I was the captain of India, it will be a lot to ask from the bowlers, in terms of follow-on," he said. According to him, the better option would be, to probably “bat for a session and a bit, give your bowlers as much rest.”

“It all depends on your seam bowlers and then you just got to back the fact that you have got enough runs on the board and you have got enough time to bowl out the opposition,” Bavuma said.

India declared after putting up a mammoth 601-5 in its first innings. South Africa needed at least 402 runs to avoid follow-on, but a top-order collapse saw the Proteas putting up 275.

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