Virat Kohli, speaking at the press conference ahead of the Nagpur Test, was quite happy with the Freedom Series scoreline reading 1-0 in favour of his side.
South Africa, though, have happy memories of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, having defeated India by an innings and 6 runs the last time the two sides met in a Test match at this venue. Dale Steyn, South Africa’s pace spearhead, took a 10-for in the Test match, in which he also picked up his career-best bowling figures till date, of 7-51 in the first innings.
The 32-year old speedster is, however, unlikely to play in the Test match starting tomorrow, as he has yet to recover fully from the groin strain he picked up during the first Test in Mohali and one that saw him excluded from the playing XI for the Bengaluru Test, as well.
Kohli was of the opinion that Team India were not thinking about whether Steyn plays in Nagpur or does not.
“We have played him enough times in the past. We have scored enough runs against him in the past. It does not make a difference if he is playing or not. We treat every bowler the same way. We treat everyone equally. It doesn’t really matter,” a dismissive Kohli said.
Kohli also remained coy about the playing XI the hosts may field in Nagpur, where the pitch is expected to once again be spinner-friendly.
“Assessing the nature of the wicket, we have got to make a few changes. Obviously, I won’t disclose it here. We possibly might make a few changes according to the conditions,” Kohli said.
South Africa have been below par in the 4-match Test series so far, with the mainstays of their batting lineup, except AB de Villiers, struggling against the lethal Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. It is going to take a monumental effort from them to stymie the threat carried by the Indian spinners, who have so far used the conditions on offer to their advantage.