Virat Kohli led Team India failed to register a win in the third Test against South Africa despite Rishabh Pant’s stunning hundred. Marco Jansen picked up 4 wickets whereas Rabada and Ngidi took 3 each as well and the visitors could manage 198 runs in their second innings as well.
While chasing, Keegan Petersen scored 82 whereas Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma scored 41 and 32 respectively to seal the deal. With this, they won the series as well.
After the defeat, Virat Kohli said: “I think it’s a great spectacle of Test cricket for all to see. We played well in the first game to win but South Africa bounced back well in the second and carried on the momentum in the third as well. There was some lapse of concentration from us as well in key moments. I thought South Africa performed better in those key moments and totally deserved the win. One of the challenges that we have faced touring abroad is to capitalise on momentum when it is on our side. Whenever we have done that, we’ve won games. But on other hand, when we haven’t done so, we have lost matches due to 30-45 minutes of cricket where we have batted badly. The opposition bowlers bowled well this series but generally, we haven’t been consistent.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 14, 2022
He continued: “We have had too many batting collapses. Of course, it (batting) has been the reason, no doubt about that. Their bowlers were just better in terms of their execution and applying pressure. Batting is certainly something to be looked at. No excuses there. It’s really disappointing for sure. We did well in Australia and England but that doesn’t guarantee us success in South Africa. The reality is that we haven’t won here in South Africa and we have to deal with it. KL’s batting as an opener. Mayank getting stuck in and then Rishabh’s innings this game, these are some positives that we can take home. Also obviously, our win at Centurion was special.”
On the other hand, after the convincing win, Dean Elgar, the South Africa captain said:
“Pretty elated. Obviously will sink in a day or two, maybe this evening. Really proud. We were thrown under the sword quite a few times this series and the guys responded brilliantly. Obviously, to bounce back after losing the first game, to believe that we could still win. Extremely happy. (On how things turned around) Challenging your players, you need characters within the group and the bowling unit has been excellent all series. I had put up a challenge after the first game and the guys responded brilliantly. Helps to have a group that doesn’t have any real big names, they like to rally together and play as one. And that’s crucial. Extremely proud of this group of players that we have here. Ultimately, if you want to operate at our performance levels, you need tough chats and I’m a bit of old-school mentality with a new-school twist.
“I laid a few challenges, even to some of the senior players as well. It was great to see the guys take my message on board. It’s great to see the guys buying in to you from a captain’s point of view. I think us as a closed group, has helped us to feed off each other. We’ve played as a unit and we’ve grown massively as a group in the last two Tests. If you want to compete in Test cricket and be no.1 someday, you have to beat the best in the world. I’m really happy that things went well for us.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 14, 2022
Could easily have gone wrong and I’d have had egg on my face. As I said earlier, really proud of this group. We’re by no means a finished article, I can tell you that. I’m already thinking of the next series. There are some negatives also that we need to work on. I think the way he (Petersen) responded since the first game has been immense.
Always known him as a good player, he’s gotten into a great player mould now and it’s a lot to say for a player who has hardly played a handful of games. He has dominated domestic cricket for a while now and it’s great to see him do so well in the last two Tests. He’s willing to learn and you need characters like that,” he further added.
Keegan Petersen, who won the Player of the Match as well as Player of the Series, said:
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a mixed bag to be honest. Happy, emotional. I was trying to be positive and then build on that. It’s been difficult conditions all around and was just sticking to my guns. It’s been a long journey, can’t tell the whole story now, won’t be over till tomorrow morning.”
“It’s been challenging surfaces, challenging bowling attacks. We knew it was going to be difficult – they’re a high-quality bowling attack, a high-quality team. We just wanted to have the mindset to fight it out. Enjoying it (success) a lot. The longer you bat, the easier it gets (on these pitches). So, just enjoyed it a lot.”