On New Year’s Day, Kohli adhered to his routine, engaging in a nearly hour-long session.Initially, he took on the bowlers at the central nets, followed by a rigorous 20 to 25 minutes of facing high-intensity throwdowns at the outside nets.
Kohli, renowned for his purposeful net sessions, focused extensively on batting against a left-arm pacer, a facet missing from India’s pace bowling lineup.
Consequently, a net bowler was called in, and Kohli spent a considerable amount of time facing around 25 to 30 deliveries from him, interleaved with matchups against Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, R Ashwin, and Avesh Khan.
Kohli consistently showcased a significant stride forward during the practice session, occasionally taking a couple of steps to elegantly whip the bowler through mid-wicket.
However, the only problem here was that the youngster provided by Cricket South Africa (CSA) was at least 15 clicks lesser in terms of pace compared to Burger, who took seven wickets on debut in the opening Test at Centurion.
The net bowler’s lack of pace allowed Kohli to read the inswing and then walk down a couple of steps to flick him through mid wicket.
In match situations, Kohli won’t get so much time to come on the front foot.
A six off Ashwin was majestic and the way he played Bumrah, with so much time at his disposal, was a treat.
Shreyas Iyer’s susceptibility to short-pitched deliveries has been widely acknowledged. Nevertheless, the Mumbai batsman did not find any amusement when confronted with this question during the ODI World Cup held in India.
However, the Centurion Test once again highlighted his difficulties in facing bouncers.
He continues to have serious issues while facing anything that’s remotely above his waist line. He looked iffy while batting and as Nuwan Senaviratne, the Sri Lankan left-arm side-armer, bowled one from 18 yards, Iyer reacted late while trying to pull the delivery and was hit on the fleshy part of the stomach.
For a brief period, he stopped batting, looked in pain and was given water before he resumed his job.
All three throwdown specialists bowled to him from 18 yards, and he didn’t for once look solid and display enough confidence even though he is an automatic choice in this playing XI.
Shardul bats in the nets
After being hit on the left shoulder during Saturday’s throwdown session at Centurion, Shardul Thakur was back at training, albeit strictly as a batter.
Shardul wasn’t seen bowling but he did bat at centre net as well as throwdown nets.
He didn’t seem in any discomfort and was looking good as he tackled the short balls.
India trail the two-match series after suffering a heavy defeat in the opener.
(With PTI Inputs)