Stand-in skipper KL Rahul said Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are Team India’s best hitters and that their strokes in the second innings of the second Test will give them the confidence to do better in the next game. Pujara teamed up with Ajinkya Rahane to nail a 111-run tie for the third wicket and help India extend their lead on Wednesday. Both batters went through a meager patch, but eventually hit the crucial fifties on day three of the second Test against South Africa.
“They have been great players for us (on Pujara and Rahane), have always done the job for us over the years, have been under the pump lately, but we believe that Pujara and Rahane are our best mid-range players to come out of. there, hit in that mentality and play an innings like that. It will give them confidence and make them perform even better in the next Test,” said KL Rahul after India suffered a defeat in the second Test.
Dean Elgar played a captain’s knock and scored an unbeaten 96 to take the hosts to a 7-wicket victory and draw the 3-match series 1-1 against India.
KL Rahul said the visitors were 50-60 runs short in the first innings.
“Every test match we play, we want to win, we go out and fight hard, but South Africa played really well and deserved this win. We wanted to get on the pitch today, try to do something special, 122 round, the pitch played up and down, we had a good chance, but their batters played really well,” said Rahul.
“If I want to be tough, the first innings total of 202 was at least 50-60 runs short, we should have scored more and put pressure on them. Shardul (Thakur) was fantastic for us, won us a lot of games , he threw well in the first innings and also gave us a chance today,” he added.
Indian Test captain Virat Kohli suffered a spasm in his upper back on Monday morning and was excluded from the second test.
“Virat is already feeling better, he’s done some fieldwork and thinks he’ll be fine,” Rahul said.
“With Siraj, we have to keep an eye on him in the nets. It is difficult to come back from a hamstring problem immediately, but we do have good bench strength in the form of Umesh and Ishant,” he added.
India and South Africa will now hold the horns in the third test from January 11.
“We expected this when we came here, every test will be competitive and challenging, we will be hungrier after this disappointing loss. I’m looking forward to Cape Town and the third test,” Rahul said.
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