Kohli suggests Proteas should have chased victory

India

Indian batsman Virat Kohli has expressed surprise, after South Africa pursued a draw rather than victory during the closing throes of the first Test match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Indian batsman Virat Kohli has expressed surprise, after South Africa pursued a draw rather than victory during the closing throes of the first Test match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Chasing a mammoth 458-run target, the Proteas moved to a promising position on the back of fighting centuries from vice-captain AB de Villiers and batsman Faf du Plessis.

De Villiers and du Plessis' departures in reasonably quick succession, however, saw all-rounder Vernon Philander and tail-ender Dale Steyn assume a largely defensive approach.

The hosts ended on 450 for seven, a mere eight runs shy of achieving the highest successful fourth-innings run chase in the history of Test match cricket.

"Everyone was pretty shocked honestly. We didn't think that they would stop going for the score because with eight runs an over and with Philander striking the ball pretty well, the task wasn't that difficult," said Kohli.

"I don't know what happened. We had our plans and that was going for the wickets but to see them not going for that score was pretty surprising for all of us. In the end, it was a very enjoyable Test match.

"It was a fair finish for this Test match. The way this match has been played over the last four days, pretty competitive with both teams coming back pretty strongly in one session or the other."

Kohli, who scored a fine century in the first innings and a complementary 96 in the first, recollected the highs and lows of Sunday's final session. While du Plessis and de Villiers' alliance worry the Indians, the centurions' departures – and the left-handed JP Duminy's early fall ensured renewed hope.

"AB's dismissal just opened up things for us and then when we got Duminy out, we thought we will win the game. Then Vernon came and struck a few boundaries and then we thought that we are on the backfoot again," he added.

"When we ran out Faf we thought we could win again. So much was happening in such quick time. We showed great character to come back taking three wickets in the end. This team never backs off."

Obviously you are playing against the number one team in the world and you can expect that from them. It is not easy to defeat them in a Test match and they keep coming back. But to come back that way and get those wickets in that last session is commendable," he added.

The second and final Test match will get underway at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday. South Africa, meanwhile, have called up fast bowler Kyle Abbott as cover for the injured Morne Morkel.

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