India vs South Africa: Ashish Nehra Analyses Impact Of Virat Kohli's Absence On India In Johannesburg
IND vs SA: While many feel that the Indian team lacked the intensity of Kohli, former India pacer Ashish Nehra said that the 33-year-old's presence wouldn't have affected the outcome of the match that much.
- Nehra analysed Kohli's absence on India in Johannesburg
- Nehra felt India missed Virat Kohli the batter
- Kohli missed the second Test due a spasm on his upper back
With their backs against the wall, South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in the second Test of the three-match series at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Thursday. With this win, the Proteas levelled the series 1-1 after India had won the first game in Centurion. As far as Team India are concerned, there has been a lot of chatter that the visitors missed the presence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who couldn't play in Johannesburg due to an upper back spasm.
While many feel that the Indian team lacked the intensity of Kohli, former India pacer Ashish Nehra said that the 33-year-old's presence wouldn't have affected the outcome of the match that much. He, however, added the India definitely missed "Virat Kohli the batter".
"When you talk about a player like Virat Kohli, there's always a buzz, if the result doesn't go your way, you do miss him. I feel India definitely missed Virat Kohli the batter. He always keeps up the intensity but I won't say the team's intensity was down. You could hear a few voices; Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah were constantly chirping. So, I won't say that if Kohli had played this (Johannesburg) match, India would've won," Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
To back his claim, Nehra recalled the Adelaide Test against Australia in 2020, where India were bowled out for 36 and Kohli played that game as well.
The 42-year-old further pointed out that Kohli had missed the next game in Melbourne, which India won, courtesy of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane's ton.
"If you look at the Adelaide Test (vs Australia), India were bowled out for 36 and Virat Kohli was there. Rahane scored a century in the next game and India won the game and also the series but Kohli wasn't there," he added.
India have never won an away Test series against South Africa, but they will certainly back themselves to win the third and final Test, starting from January 11 in Cape Town.
The visitors will also welcome back Kohli for the series decider at the Newlands next week.