India tour of South Africa: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar said Virat Kohli will be crucial to India’s chances of putting up a big total on Day 3 of the 3rd Test and Cheteshwar Pujara needs to support his skipper on what has been a difficult wicket for the batters in Cape Town.
Legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar said India will need Virat Kohli to play a crucial knock on Day 3, adding that the South Africa bowlers will be eyeing the captain’s wicket early when the two teams resume what has been an engrossing battle in the 3rd Test, the series finale, so far.
India went to Stumps on Day 2 with their noses ahead as captain Kohli and Pujara batted out more than 11 overs together and added 33 runs while remaining unbeaten for the 3rd wicket. India were in a spot of bother after Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen got the wickets of openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul but the two senior batters helped settle the team’s nerves with a solid partnership in the final hour.
Virat Kohli is high on confidence after having made a disciplined 79 in the first innings. Kohli looked assured in his 39-ball stay in the middle along with his Pujaraa, who faced 31 balls for an unbeaten 9 on Day 2.
India sealed a 70-run lead after getting to 53/2 at Stumps. Earlier in the day, a 5-wicket haul from Jasprit Bumrah helped India bowl South Africa out for 210.
“Well, if he stays the whole day, then India, you can say, will go on to win the game. His wicket is the one that South Africa will be looking for (on Day 3),” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“I think Marco Jansen made a mistake by coming around the wicket. When he bowled over the wicket, he got out him in Centurion. It was easier for Virat Kohli. I still feel that if Jansen has to get him out, bowling over the wicket will be a better option for him,” he added.
eanwhile, Gavaskar said Pujara will be well-served if he plays his natural game on Day 3. The former captain urged the senior batter to provide support to captain Kohli, highlighting that it’s good to see him move the scoreboard proactively.
Pujara, who hit a free-flowing 43 in the first inning, looked solid as he denied South Africa pacers another wicket towards the end of Day 2.
“Well, he has got to play the game he knows best. What we have seen in the recent innings is that he is looking to push that scoreboard a lot. It’s a very, very good sign because he is looking to do that without taking any undue risks. That’s what he has a to do. His judgement around the off-stump is pretty good in this series,” Gavaskar spoke of Pujara.