Kohli bemoans below-par batting

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Virat Kohli

Cape Town, January 9: Virat Kohli bemoaned India's inability to string partnerships together after they suffered a 72-run defeat to South Africa in an absorbing first Test.

India were set a target of 208 for victory at Newlands after bowling the Proteas out for 130 on day four.

But they subsequently slumped to 135 all out as Vernon Philander took a career-best 6-42 for South Africa, who lost Dale Steyn for the series with a heel injury but can now win it with victory in the second Test at Centurion, which starts on Saturday.

Kohli was disappointed that India allowed South Africa to score 286 in the first innings and forge a lead, but it was the batting displays that he felt played more of a role in the loss.

"If we had taken our chances in the first innings, even after them counter-attacking, we could have kept them to 220 which would have been ideal," Kohli said.

"We're not a team which thinks of what-ifs though. Losing wickets in bunches is something we have to plug in. We were pretty much in the Test match on all days.

"We were thinking 250-275 if they play well. To restrict them to 210 was an outstanding effort. We needed someone to get a 75-80.

"Credit to them, they were a bowler short and still bowled their heart out. We need to rectify our mistakes also.

"Mini collapses in both innings is something we have to think about, how to string in partnerships. This game is all about stringing in partnerships. They did that better than us.

"The bowlers learned pretty quickly from the first innings, whatever mistakes needed to be corrected. We kept pulling things back against a side which is very strong at home.

"Still feeling good about how we went about this Test match. The mindset matters when you're travelling away from home on pitches which challenge you. Need to be positive in defence and when you're leaving also. You need to grab scoring opportunities."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 2:00 [IST]
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