No century for Virat Kohli in 2021 and entry of Tendulkar in big league in 2022

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Rishabh Pant during a practice session (ANI Photo)

Our Bureau
Pretoria

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli ended the year 2021 without scoring a century in international cricket as he departed for 18 in the second innings of the first Test against South Africa on Wednesday.

In 2020 also Kohli had failed to reach the triple-figure mark. The Indian skipper had last scored a ton in the day-night Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in 2019. South Africa bowler Marco Jansen removed Kohli in the 33rd over as the batter’s quest for his 71st ton continued.

Split captaincy can be blessing in disguise: Ravi Shastri

Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that split captaincy can be a blessing in disguise for both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma has been named as the white-ball captain, while Kohli will continue to lead the side in the longest format of the game. “I think it’s the right way to go. This could be a blessing in disguise for Virat, and for Rohit because I don’t think in this era if the bubble life exists for another year or so, one guy to handle all three is not easy at all,” Shastri said on Star Sports’ show ‘Bold and Brave’.

Talking about his equation with Kohli, Shastri said: “We’re both pretty aggressive, we want to play to win. We realized very quickly that to win you need to take 20 wickets, deciding to play aggressive and fearless cricket. It meant at times you would lose games but once you got one across the line, then its infectious.”

Shastri also said that he would not have considered himself as a successful coach if he was not able to get the best out of Rohit Sharma as Test opener.

“It was very clear in my mind that I wanted to do it. I thought if I can’t get the best out of him as a batsman then I am a failure as a coach because there is too much talent there,” said Shastri.

‘We need to be patient’: Vikram Rathour on Pujara, Rahane’s form

Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has again come out in support of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane following the batters’ lean patch in the longest format of the game.

While Rahane did score 48 and 20 in the first Test against South Africa, Pujara departed for a duck before hitting 16 in the second innings. “As far as Pujara and Rahane are concerned, they are trying their best, they are giving their best. Rahane was in really good touch but unfortunately, he got out, so has Pujara,” said Rathour in the press conference after the end of Day Four’s play

“Pujara in past has played some important innings for us, you see these are challenging conditions, not many people have scored runs here. We need to be patient as long as they are trying their best, giving their best as coaching unit we are fine. Are we getting impatient? Not at this stage, I think,” he added.

After India were folded in the second session on Wednesday, 40.5 overs were bowled with South Africa losing four wickets in the tricky phase.

Team India’s batting coach wants bowlers to hit the same length on Thursday to seal the win for the visitors.

“This Test cricket, nothing is easy I feel, we still need to bowl well, we still need to bowl in the right areas. The way we bowled today, if we keep hitting those lengths consistently, we will create lots of opportunities,” said Rathour while replying to a query.

Virat Kohli on the the first day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and India, at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Rohit Sharma lauds Shami for scalping 200 Test wickets

India white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma praised pacer Mohammed Shami as the latter completed his 200 wickets in Test cricket on Tuesday.

Shami achieved this feat after taking a fifer on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test against South Africa here at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. “Double hundred is a special number #200,” tweeted Rohit.

Former India batter VVS Laxman also hailed the Men in Blue for their fine performance against the Proteas.

“After a fabulous innings from Rahul on Day 1, an outstanding display of seam bowling from Shami. 5 wkts and a great way to get to 200 Test Wickets. With his fine spell, India take a commanding 130 run lead. Wishing for the batsman to capitalise & set a big target for South Africa,” tweeted VVS Laxman.

“Well done @MdShami11 #200testwickets well bowled,” tweeted former India spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Coming to the match, India might have lost Mayank Agarwal’s at the cusp of the stumps but the visitors still ended Day Three of the first Test against South Africa in the driver’s seat on Tuesday.

India had bundled out South Africa for 197 in the third session before the hosts lost Mayank’s wicket minutes before the end of the play. Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul then took India to 16/1 at stumps with a lead of 146 runs.

Entire credit for my success goes to my father: Shami

India pacer Mohammed Shami has said that the entire credit for his success goes to his late father, who had passed away in 2017.

Shami’s remarks came as he took a five-wicket haul in the ongoing first Test against South Africa here at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. Along the way, the pacer also completed 200 wickets in the longest format of the game. “The celebration after reaching the 200 wickets mark was for my father, he had passed away in 2017. The entire credit for my success goes to him, I had a very good upbringing. I just wanted to credit my father as he was there for me throughout,” Shami told bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on BCCI.TV.

“I was just thinking about how good the effort has been, I felt it would be nice if I can get a five-wicket haul. I also reached the 200 wickets landmark in Test cricket, it is a nice and proud feeling. When I took 100 wickets in Tests, I thought I have achieved something, after 200, I am feeling very good and I just hope to keep on performing for the side. The more you enjoy your cricket, performances keep on coming,” he added.

Rishabh Pant breaks Dhoni’s record

Rishabh Pant on Tuesday became the fastest Indian wicket-keeper to reach 100 dismissals in the longest format of the game.

Pant achieved the feat on Day Three of the ongoing first Test against South Africa. The left-handed batter broke former skipper MS Dhoni’s record to reach 100 dismissals. While Pant reached the milestone in 26 matches, Dhoni had taken 36 games to reach 100 dismissals. Kiran More (39) and Nayan Mongia (26) are third and fourth in the list respectively.

Coming to the match, India might have lost Mayank Agarwal’s at the cusp of the Stumps but the visitors still ended Day Three of the first Test against South Africa in the driver’s seat on Tuesday.

India had bundled out South Africa for 197 in the third session before the hosts lost Mayank’s wicket minutes before the end of the play. Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul then took India to 16/1 at Stumps with a lead of 146 runs.

Arjun Tendulkar named in Mumbai squad for Ranji Trophy

Arjun Tendulkar, the son of legendary batter Sachin Tendulkar was on Wednesday named in Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad with Prithvi Shaw appointed as the captain of the side.

Prithvi Shaw had led Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare title in the last season and it will be the first time that the opening batter will captain the team in first-class cricket. “The Senior Selection Committee of Mumbai Cricket Association consisting of Mr. Salil Ankola (Chairman), Mr. Gulam Parkar, Mr. Sunil More, Mr. Prasad Desai and Mr. Anand Yalvigi has selected the following players to represent Mumbai in Ranji Trophy Match against Maharashtra from 13th – 16th January 2022 and against Delhi from 20th – 23rd January 2022 at Kolkata,” Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) said in a statement.

Mumbai Squad: Prithvi Shaw (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Aakarshit Gomel, Armaan Jaffer, Sarfaraz Khan, Sachin Yadav, Aditya Tare (wicketkeeper), Hardik Tamore (wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, Aman Khan, Shams Mulani, Tanush Kotian, Prashant Solanki, Shashank Attarde, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Avasthi, Prince Badiani, Siddharth Raut, Royston Dias, Arjun Tendulkar

Ranji Trophy will start from January 13 with the final of the tournament to be played on March 17.

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