Kohli: ‘We were in the Test match throughout’

India skipper Virat Kohli believes the batting collapse is a concern for the unit; lauds the bowling effort and Hardik Pandya’s zest to do well overseas.

India skipper Virat Kohli believes the competition is still on, but agreed that the team needs to rectify its batting.   -  AP

When Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were on crease, India still had a chance to chase down 208. But the pitch made the modest target a competitive one. Philander set the Indian skipper up, to dismiss him for 28. A few balls later, he rattled Rohit too.

Read: Oliver, Ngidi added to SA squad in Steyn’s absence

India lost to South Africa by 72 runs in the first Test at Newlands, Cape Town. Kohli feels that chances in the first innings could have changed the script. “We need to rectify a lot of things. If we had taken a few chances in the first innings, it would have been ideal for us. Losing wickets is one area where we need to plug in,” he said, at the post match presentation ceremony.

Read: South Africa's Test win in numbers

However, he lauded his bowlers for restricting South Africa to 130 — under 210 (lead) — from 65/2. “The bowlers corrected themselves in the second innings. They learnt pretty quickly. We needed someone to get a 75 or an 80. The 20s and the 30s were not good enough. They were a bowler short, but they pitched the ball in the right areas. So the credit also goes to them.”

Match report: India surrenders as Philander runs amok

Kohli reiterated that the batting collapse is a concern for the team. “We need to sit down and think about it. We need to pull in partnerships. This game is more about having partnerships. We only had one almost 100-run partnership and nothing more,” he added.

Also read: Philander calls Steyn ‘a hell of a champion’

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who smashed 93 in the first innings, is India’s star for the match. “The mindset really matters when you are travelling away from home. He always backs himself. He is performing at the highest level for us and he wants to do well away from home,” said Kohli, adding, “We were in the Test match throughout, we kept pulling the game towards us. The competition is still on.”