Kohli's absence on the final day in Centurion makes Elgar happy
South Africa must take seven wickets on the final day of the second Test at SuperSport Park on Wednesday to beat India and win the series with a match to spare and opener Dean Elgar is relieved that they do not have to worry about captain Virat Kohli.
Indian talisman Kohli was the third wicket to fall from the bowling of debutant Lungi Ngidi during the dramatic third session on Tuesday to follow openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as the Proteas' bowling attack tightened the screws.
Kohli was on five runs when he was given out for lbw after a peach of a delivery from Ngidi‚ who also accounted for the wicket of KL Rahul‚ after Kagiso Rabada had accounted for Vijay.
India need a further 252 runs to win and Elgar said even though there is a lot of work still to be done‚ their mission has been made easier by the fact that they will not be worrying about Kohli who scored a sensational 153 in the first innings.
“It is massive for us that we don’t have to worry about him (Kohli) on the last day of this Test match‚" Elgar said.
"He is a special batsman as we all saw with what he did in the first innings.
"He is a competitive and feisty guy and that comes out in his cricket.
"He wants the best for his team like everyone else and his knock in the first innings was special.
“It was a massive moment to get him out.
"We all knew that it is possible because he is human and he can also fail.
"I am sitting here with a smile on my face knowing that he is one less competitor we don’t have to deal with.”
Elgar‚ who scored only 25 runs at Newlands before he redeemed himself with scores of 31 and 61 here in Pretoria‚ said people made a fuss about his performance in Cape Town.
“I haven’t really been out of form and I don’t know why people are making such a big fuss about this‚" he said.
"I think as a professional player‚ you do go through ups and downs and sometimes bowlers do find your weaknesses.
"Maybe it is a factor of me identifying my weaknesses more but I don’t feel out of nick or anything like that.
"I got out from a good ball in Cape Town in the first innings and a lot of things haven’t gone according to plan.
"In the first innings here‚ the ball could have gone anywhere but that is the nature of cricket and I am working as hard as ever.”