People outside don't know of what happens on-field: Virat Kohli on DRS controversy

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14 Jan 2022 | 12:47 PM staff

People outside don't know of what happens on-field: Virat Kohli on DRS controversy

The India skipper also felt that his team should avoid batting collapses in the future if they are to keep winning series

India captain Virat Kohli has said that the people on the outside do not understand what actually transpired on the field when asked about his side's DRS outburst on Day Three of the Cape Town Test. 

Kohli and his team lost their cool when Dean Elgar survived a close LBW call. The on-field umpire Marias Erasmus deemed it out, only to be reversed when the Proteas captain opted for a review. 

"I have no comment to make on either. We understood what happened on the field and people on the outside don't know exact details of what goes on on the field," he said in the post-match press conference on Friday (January 14).

"...for me to try and justify what we did on the field and say we got carried away is all...," he didn't finish the sentence.

"If we had gotten charged up and picked up three wickets there, that would have been probably the moment that changed the game," he added.

The incident happened in the 21st over when Ravichandran Ashwin flighted a delivery which dipped and then straightened to beat a lunging Elgar's bat. Umpire Erasmus straightaway lifted his finger but Elgar appealed for DRS.

Once he saw on the big screen that he was beaten, he started trudging back only to find that the ball was going over the stumps. While it looked plumb, the reversal of decision saw Kohli kicking the ground in disgust as all kinds of chatter started.

The trajectory of the ball post impact on pads is adjudged through the Hawkeye technology which is independent of the match footage provided to the third umpire by the host broadcaster. Hawkeye is accredited by the ICC.

Kohli, who has now played 99 Tests, stressed that he did not want to make a controversy out of the moment and his team had moved on from it. "The reality of the situation is that we did not apply enough pressure on them for longer periods of time throughout the course of this Test match and hence we lost the game," he said.

"That one moment seems very nice and very exciting to make a controversy out of, which honestly, I am not interested in making...It was just (a) moment that passed and we moved on from it. And we just kept focussing on the game and tried to pick up wickets," Kohli asserted.

Ashwin and white-ball skipper KL Rahul also made sarcastic comments against host broadcaster SuperSport on the DRS saga which were picked up by the stump mic.

Kohli rues batting collapses

Kohli also singled out batting collapses as the reasons for their 2-1 series defeat in South Africa. India set the hosts a target of 212 in the series-deciding third Test which the Proteas chased down with seven wickets in hand as Keegan Pietersen (82), Rassie van der Dussen (41 not out) and Temba Bavuma (32 not out) led the chase.

"It's batting; can't pin-point any other aspect," Kohli said in the post-match presentation. "People talk about pace and bounce, considering their heights, they were able to get much more off the wickets in all three Tests. They applied pressure long enough for us to make mistakes. It's the understanding of conditions for them which they know very well."

Despite taking lead in the first innings, India posted second innings totals of 266 and 198 where they lost a flurry of wickets in the second and third Tests. Kohli felt that the team needs to find a solution.

"The batting has to be looked into, no running away from that. Having collapses every now and then not a good thing. Obviously very disappointed, we know how far we've come as a team. That people expect us to beat SA in SA is testimony to how far we've come. We haven't done it, that's the reality, accept it and come back as better cricketers," he said.

Kohli praised South Africa for fighting back from their loss in the first Test to seal series.

"It's a great spectacle of Tests for everyone to watch; hard-fought series. Great first game but SA did amazingly well. In both Tests they won, they were clinical with the ball in crunch moments. Lapse of concentration cost us key moments and they seized those moments; absolutely deserving winners in the end," he said.

The Indian skipper reserved his praise for opening pair KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal alongside Rishabh Pant who scored an unbeaten 100 in the third Test.

"I think the way KL batted as an opener was heartening, Mayank got stuck in on a couple of occasions, bowling was outstanding, few crucial knocks from the guys in the middle period, Rishabh's knock in this Test was special, Centurion win was special too. Take the positives and move ahead, come back as better cricketers," Kohli said.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar was ecstatic and heaped praise on his teammates for the way they responded after the loss in Centurion.

"Pretty elated, I think it will sink in in a day or two, maybe this evening. Couldn't be prouder of the group. The guys responded brilliantly. After the first loss, had a lot of hope knowing we can still win this. Asked the players to respond in a better nature, better way and they responded brilliantly. Extremely happy," Elgar said after the match.

Elgar was generous in his praise for Keegan Pietersen who was adjudged player of the match and player of the tournament for his 276 runs from three Tests, including two half-centuries in the final Test.

"He's dominated domestic cricket, awesome to see him have a great series. Long may he grow, there's lot of improvement from his point of view. World is his oyster. Even though he's someone older, he's winning to learn. He's a proper character within that team environment. Proud of what he has achieved," Elgar said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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