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11 Jan 2018

What should be Kohli's strategy against South Africa?

Here's what Virat Kohli should do against SA

The first Test in Cape Town left India with a bitter defeat. It gave us a glimpse of bouncy South African pitches and the relentless pace bowling attack of the home side.

The visitors are unlikely to get any respite going into remaining two Tests of the series. Under such foreign conditions, what can Virat Kohli do better as a batsman? Let's see.

In context

Here's what Virat Kohli should do against SA
Virat Kohli's strengths as a player

All-round play

Virat Kohli's strengths as a player

Virat Kohli is an aggressive batsman who likes to play his shots even in a Test match.

He has all kinds of shots in his arsenal and is equally confident off the front and back foot.

One of the best batsmen in the world among the current crop of players, he can comfortably play spin and pace attack.

The Philander dilemma

What can Kohli change to perform better?

Kohli should have a strategy for every bowler. In the first Test, Kohli allowed himself to be setup by the bowler with his single-minded focus on balls swinging away from his body.

What he needs to do, especially against a bowler like Vernon Philander, is to be patient and leave the balls and make him bowl to his strengths.

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Philander's plan for Kohli

Catch offguard

Philander's plan for Kohli

Talking about his plan for Kohli, Philander said, "The key is to keep him quiet and make sure to set him up with the other one...It was about two and a half overs of away-swingers and then one back into him...the plan was to drag him across and make sure when you do bowl the other one, he's on other side of the stump."

Attack when possible

Game plan against Morkel and Rabada

Against bowlers like Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada who generally bowl short of length, Kohli needs to be proactive.

Unlike Philander who doesn't give much to hit, one can expect loose balls from them which Kohli should look to attack staying on back foot and use cut and pull shots.

The key is to adapt and find a balance between attack and defense.

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