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Kohli reminds me of Sachin of 1996, says Allan Donald

Calcutta: Allan Donald has been impressed by Virat Kohli’s innings at the Wanderers on Wednesday. The discipline and responsibility shown by Kohli during his 119 has left the South Africa bowling great effusive in praise.

“The one word that comes to mind is responsibility. I think he showed great discipline and responsibility. He reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar when they came here in 1996,” Donald said at a press conference in Johannesburg.

“I was the first one to say back in 1996 that one person who jumps out and plays for the situation, plays for his team was Tendulkar. That’s what came to my mind when I saw Kohli batting… The way he left the ball… when we were slightly off the line he punished the ball... He paced his innings very well.

“For me, he was responsible today. He put up his hand and showed real fight… He was tight and didn’t give much away until the end,” the bowling coach explained.

“I just thought he composed himself well today. I have seen him in the IPL, and I have seen him playing for India against other teams where he doesn’t mind having a say back.

“He was very composed and responsible, disciplined and aggressive when he needed to be. So being competitive is a great quality to have... A lot has been said about him replacing the great Sachin Tendulkar’s boots. Today he made the statement. That was a good knock.”

India’s display on the opening day of the series also came in for praise.

“India showed a lot of patience, and left the ball really well today. I just heard Virat saying that they have learnt from the past matches here… We were also talking about being aggressive with the ball, finding the right areas. I thought we could have done it better today. It was a tough day’s play today.”

But Donald isn’t losing heart. “I would go back to this sort of the day at The Oval (against England in July 2012), when we asked the right questions and at the same time we were slightly wide and short. Probably the widest I have seen outside the off-stump and probably (because) the ball was swinging.

“It’s really a weird thing to describe. But at the same time the game never really drifted away from us. I think that particular day at The Oval England were 267 for three, and in this case we never felt that India never really took the game away from us. They are five down, and I will take it.

“It’s a mixture of things, having India in trouble early on… Then, it became sloppy in patches as the day went on. I thought we stuck to our guns really well, and tomorrow we have to come and make a big impression… we need to keep our eyes on the pitch; there are a few cracks. ”

Cheteshwar Pujara, who was unfortunately run out for 25, was happy with the first day show.

“I am really happy with our performance today. If we can put up another 150 runs, then we will give ourselves a very good chance of winning this match,” said Pujara. I think they were bowling at a fourth or fifth stump line, and we had a plan not to play those balls. There are chances of you getting out caught behind or at slips. It was very crucial that we keep our discipline and leave the ball.

Pujara’s run out ended his 89-run stand with Virat. “We had a very good partnership… The partnership was really crucial and Virat batted brilliantly. But as you know, at times miscommunication happens and you get run out.”