India's Gen Next batters - especially Kohli and Pujara - shatter pre-tour predictions
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It was around half-hour after the first day's play, close to two hours since Virat Kohli had driven Jacques Kallis straight to cover following a breath-taking century. The likes of Robin Jackman, Kepler Wessels and Mike Haysman had just packed up and assembled in the lounge area outside the commentary box, ready to leave. They were stopped in their tracks though. The television in the foyer was relaying a slightly delayed telecast of Kohli's post-match press conference.
The trio crowded around the TV as they heard India's new No.4 speak about his single-minded obsession to score a century on South African soil. There were nods of acknowledgement all around. And each one of the veteran commentators wore a pleasant smile post Kohli's brazen comments regarding the failure of the No.1 team's pace attack to intimidate him.
If he had left an impression with his candid remarks on Jackman & Co, earlier that same day Kohli had caused a significantly impact on many at Wanderers with bat in hand. On a day where a scarred India were expected to capitulate and crumble against unrelenting coercion from the Proteas, the feisty right-hander had scored a stunning 119. It wasn't only the commentary box that had been left amazed. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young India had in many ways taken the cricket world by surprise.
"I would be surprised if anyone expected this Indian team to show such fight. As the game progressed they in fact started dominating proceedings. They really have taken a huge step towards changing the notions that other teams, especially the likes of South Africa, had of them," said Barry Richards, former South African opener and one who has witnessed many Indian teams come here and struggle.
Unlike Richards, Kepler Wessels, former South African captain and opener, was at the Wanderers to witness India's impressive showing at the Wanderers. And it was the technique of the likes of Kohli and Pujara against the seam and bounce of the Protea pace attack that he insisted on being impressed with.
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