Kohli hopes Newlands experience will have batsmen better prepared

India vs South Africa: Hardik Pandya backs himself and we believe in him, says Virat Kohli

Barely a few weeks before that, Rohit recorded his third Test century - more than four years after his second.

"Its amusing. Before the last Test, everyone was saying Ajinkya Rahane should not be included in playing XI". On their success or failure not only hinges the outcome of the series but also how Virat Kohli and his team will be remembered by history. The hosts did not emulate the start they had in the first Test and openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram put up a partnership of 85 before Elgar was dismissed.

"As I've said very often, the success of our Test team is highly dependent on the fast bowlers we have in our armoury".

"I also felt that by pushing him back we could get all three dismissals into play". "We certainly don't go on opinions that are created outside, and "talk of the town", and all those sort of things".

Kohli and Shastri have always said that they will do what is in the best interest of the team without being swayed by external influences. Kohli's boys have often come out of such deep holes in white ball cricket but sustaining the intensity and battling the competition for five days unremittingly in unfriendly conditions is not going to be easy.

"There is no need to panic as a batting unit, we have played well for a long time - and we have played well away from home as well". I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka.

"For us, at the moment, it's unknown".

One of the left-field options is to make Parthiv Patel open the innings, thus freeing a middle-order slot for Rahane.

Indeed, after a successful Test series against the Sri Lankans, Rohit had pushed his case even further when he hit an unprecedented third career double-century in one-day internationals, followed by a second Twenty20 worldwide hundred a few days after.

But this selection business is way too cyclical - the invisible Tests are over, the mega ODIs return, Rohit and Dhawan return to run making mayhem, and subsequently to the Test side.

Rabada now sits at the summit of the Test bowlers rankings after he took a total of five wickets in the first Test against India, which the Proteas won by 72 runs. Virat Kohli said during the toss that the decision had been made so as to exploit the extra bounce. So we are not anxious about the bowling front at all.

The seaming, bouncing ball at the picturesque Newlands in Cape Town, once again became the nemesis of the famed Indian batting line-up, much like its predecessors in similar conditions. He's just such a strong bowler.

Ishant Sharma, during his early playing days, emerged as a fiery young bowler who can ruffle the feathers of the best batsmen in the world. "A hungry AB means a big scoring AB", he said. "Intent is there in a leave".

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