Virat Kohli had relinquished his Test captaincy after defeat to South Africa during their last tour of the Rainbow Nation.
Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar feels that a big knock is due from Virat Kohli during the upcoming Test series against South Africa. India have not won a Test series in South Africa and came pretty close of doing so during the last tour (2021/22). Despite winning the first Test, the visitors ended up conceding the series 2-1. The defeat in the series decider turned out to be Kohli’s last as captain as he decided to step down from his role. Having missed the second Test due to an injury, the former India captain scored only 161 runs at an average of 40.25 with a top score of 79.
However, Manjrekar feels if Kohli gets fired up, the star batter might come in clutch in the two-match series.
“I see Virat Kohli doing his own few things. He is going to get fired up. The last trip to South Africa, he did not get a big one and Kohli has had to work harder for Test runs recently. When Virat Kohli is all fired up and angry, that’s the sight I like. David Warner as well. When they get a little fired up, you see them batting better,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying on Star Sports.
India’s last Test toured of South Africa was also marred by a controversy as the visiting players had accused the local broadcasters for favouring the local team.
For instance, Kohli and co. had criticised the broadcaster on the stump mic when an LBW decision from Dean Elgar was overturned by DRS.
While highlighting the same incident, Manjrekar doesn’t feel that the Indian team would do something similar under the leadership of Rohit Sharma.
“No (stump-mic aggression from last series repeat?) because we have a new leader in Rohit Sharma. But you are right, it brings back memories of players saying something that they have never done before, suggesting that the local broadcasters supported the South African team and all that. But that was a different temperamental team the last time around, under Rohit Sharma, they tend to play differently. It’s always the captain who creates the culture, so I don’t see that happening,” he added.
The first Test starts from Boxing Day (December 26) in Centurion.