Pollock surprised by Kohli move

Last Updated 24 January 2018, 19:05 IST

Graeme Pollock, one of South Africa's batting greats, expressed his surprise over India's decision to bat first in the third and final Test here at the Wanderers.

With overcast conditions and pitch sporting more grass than the normal, India were shot out for 187 as all the five South African pacemen got amongst the wickets.

"I think the surprising thing is that they won the toss and batted," Pollock told DH here on Wednesday. "It's a greener wicket than the normal at the Wanderers, there was a bit of a cloud. I think if the weather stays, the wicket will get a little bit easier, maybe we will get some more runs on the second and the third day."

Arguably the finest No 4 batsman of all-time, Pollock is mighty impressed with Kohli the batsman. Like Pollock, Kohli too bats at four in the longer format.    

"I think he is a wonderful player," said Pollock before going on to add that the current Indian batting line-up came nowhere near the likes of the Tendulkars and the Dravids. "The Indian batting line-up of the past, the Sachins, the Dravids, the Laxmans and the Sehwags… That's a totally different line-up. This line-up is nowhere close to that. The only current batsman that probably in that league is Kohli at the moment. I saw these guys playing in India on low and slow wickets and they are good players but to adapt to different conditions isn't easy.

"And the conditions in the last couple of Tests have been foreign even to South Africa. Cape Town normally doesn't seam as much and gives the quickies as much help; Centurion was slow and (had) inconsistent (bounce) and if the Wanderers has grass and the weather is overcast, you are going to have a problem," he explained.              

Pollock felt that the current Indian batsmen were good in home conditions but are finding it difficult to cope with the bouncy conditions.

"The guys that are new into the game have been playing on essentially on slow and low wickets, and to come and bat in these conditions, it's a huge difference," Pollock pointed out. "My only concern is that I don't think the batsmen have played to their natural and normal abilities; not playing positively, they are just playing not to get out and they are not controlling the game. The guy (Pujara) faced 53 balls for no run… I think they are playing not to get out as against normal play, to bat at a faster rate," he offered.

The South African legend, however, was mighty impressed with the Indian seam attack.

"I thought the seam attack has been pretty good. I thought Ashwin would have played a bigger part in the first two Tests, in India he was virtually unplayable. I am surprised that he hasn't done all that well in South Africa but the seamers have been pretty good."

(Published 24 January 2018, 18:50 IST)

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