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Kohli frustrated by Bangalore Test washout

Kohli frustrated by Bangalore Test washout

BANGALORE: Indian captain Virat Kohli was left frustrated on Wednesday after the rain-ravaged second Test against South Africa robbed his team of a possible series win.

The match ended in a dreary draw in Bangalore as play was washed out for a fourth consecutive day after the hosts had gained the upper hand on the opening day.

The umpires called off the final day’s play at 11:30am (0600 GMT) due to a wet outfield at the Chinnaswamy stadium after incessant rains over the past week.

There was action only on the first day on Saturday when South Africa were shot out for 214 after being sent in to bat and India replied with 80 for no loss.

“It’s a pity we lost four days when we were in such a strong position,” Kohli said at the brief presentation ceremony. “The bowlers did a commendable job by bowling South Africa out in less than three sessions which is something very rare. A lot of people were surprised when we decided to field first.

“All credit to the bowlers. Bangalore is known for its runs but our bowlers showed a lot of character.”

Kohli hoped his team, which won the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs to gain the lead in the four-match series, will take the momentum into the third Test which starts in Nagpur on Nov 25.

“Nothing has changed in the series,” the Indian captain said. “We took the confidence from Mohali to Bangalore and we had a good day’s play. The team is in great mood and hopefully we won’t have any more interruptions and the players can execute their skills in Nagpur.

The rained-off draw meant top-ranked South Africa have played just seven days of international cricket on the tour over the last month.

Proteas skipper Hashim Amla, who was hoping to revive his team after the embarrassing defeat inside three days in Mohali, admitted his men had not batted well again.

“I am very surprised we lost four days of cricket here, I really didn’t think that would happen,” Amla said. “Unfortunately, we did not bat well but I think the Test was still in the balance after the first day because a lot of time was left.”

Amla said A.B. de Villiers top-scoring with 85 on his 100th Test appearance was the highlight for his team in Bangalore.

“We are glad to share the moment with him,” he said. “We have had a long lay-off and everyone is keen to get back on the park in Nagpur and play better cricket.”

Meanwhile, India named an unchanged squad for the remaining two Tests.

Pace duo Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and all rounder Gurkeerat Singh, who did not feature in the playing XI and were released to play Ranji Trophy matches, have returned to the fold.

Delhi is scheduled to stage the final Test from Dec. 3.

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Lokesh Rahul, Stuart Binny, Gurkeerat Singh Mann.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2015

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