Virat Kohli failed to convert a bright start to a big score on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion on Sunday as he was dismissed for 35 by Lungi Ngidi. Chasing a delivery that was wide outside off, Kohli was deceived by the late swing generated in the delivery and gave away an easy catch to Wiaan Mulder at first slip. The Indian Test skipper had looked settled on the crease before Ngidi sent him back to the pavilion. Having not scored a century since 2019, Kohli’s dismissal saw him extend his lean patch with the bat.
India’s former batting coach Sanjay Bangar reacted to Kohli’s dismissal, saying the prolific batter needs to develop a “response off the back foot” and not be preoccupied to playing on the front foot. “(It) could well be a mental error in the execution part at least as far as him going after that wide half-volley is concerned,” Bangar said. “But for me, he relies on driving the ball. Against quicker attacks on seaming pitches, you require one more game. You can’t only rely on the front foot shots. If he only relies on that particular shot, the bowlers will continue to drag him wider and wider and hope they find the outside edge,” Bangar added.
He also added, “It will be worth it if Virat Kohli can give a thought of developing some sort of a response of the back foot as well. Otherwise, he just seems to be preoccupied with scoring runs off the front foot.” Despite Kohli’s dismissal, India finished the opening day at a score of 272/3, with opener KL Rahul scoring an unbeaten 122 to power the side to a strong position.