Enoch Nkwe, South Africa’s interim team director, on Friday praised Virat Kohli after the Indian skipper scored a double ton as the hosts scored 601/5 declared in the first innings of the second Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Kohli scored an unbeaten 254 to score his seventh double hundred in Tests, surpassing Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to create a record for most double hundreds by an Indian batsmen in the longest format of the game.
Nkwe termed Kohli, who registered his highest individual score in Test cricket, a “world class player”.
“I mean he is a world-class player. Credit to India today, in terms of how they went about their business. It was a very crucial partnership between (Ajinkya) Rahane and Kohli. Obviously, he led by example and it was a great knock from him. It was superb to watch,” Nkwe said in the post-match press conference.
Kohli, who scored multiple records during his 336-ball stay in the middle and completed 7000 runs in Test cricket, put up two big partnerships – a 178-run stand with Rahane and a 225-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja – as India put up a big total on the board.
Nkwe said that South Africa have an inexperienced bowling attack and they can take good learning from their performance against the Indian batsmen.
“When you are bowling to the world-class line-up, that’s what happens and we take good learnings from that. Very important learning that we need to take forward into the second innings,” he said.
“Yes, it is a bit of inexperienced bowling attack we have, we knew that. One thing I will never question is the character of our team and the boys gave their all,” added Nkwe.
However, Nkwe highlighted that nothing has changed when it comes to the Proteas’ intent.
“Nothing really changes in terms of the intent. We just got to keep having a positive mind to score runs. We proved this in the first innings of the first Test. We are not going to back down. It is going to be important that we build a very strong partnership. Obviously, the two batters will have to set them up and it is important that they become a lot more ruthless,” concluded Nkwe.