Watch: Kohli hits Ashwin for six as IND sweat it out at nets before 2nd SA Test | Cricket

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Team India‘s hope of conquering their final frontier was shattered last week after the Rohit Sharma-led visiting side incurred a humiliating defeat by an innings and 32 runs in the opening game of the two-match contest in Centurion. But they are yet to lose the series. With two days left for the final tie of the contest in Cape Town, a few members of the Indian team were spotted at the training nets in Newlands on New Year’s Day. Albeit it was an optional net session, former India captain Virat Kohli was spotted going full throttle.

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli during a practice session ahead of the second Test match between India and South Africa, at Newlands Cricket Ground(PTI)
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli during a practice session ahead of the second Test match between India and South Africa, at Newlands Cricket Ground(PTI)

India have never won a Test series in South Africa in 31 years, dating back to their maiden tour in 1992. It comprised eight Test series in South Africa. The 2023/24 contest was considered India’s best chance to end their unwanted streak. However, an inspiring show from Kagiso Rabada and debutant Nandre Burger saw India being folded for just 245 and 131 across two innings as the match ended in just three days.

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Having gained an extra day, India held an optional training session in Centurion on December 30. Although Kohli was not part of the nets session in SuperSport Park two days back, he led the proceedings in Newlands on January 1 with head coach Rahul Dravid overseeing the preparations in India’s centre-wicket practice.

In a video shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, by PTI news agency journalist Kushan Sarkar, Kohli was spotted batting aggressively in the nets, where he even hit off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a massive six. The veteran batter was also seen facing a local net bowler, a left-arm pacer, probably to prepare himself against Marco Jansen.

India are likely to have another training session on January 2 in Cape Town and all the players are expected to be available.

India do not have a favourable record in Cape Town, having never won a Test match at that venue. In six appearances across the last 20 years, India have lost four times while two others – 1993 and 2011 – ended in a draw.

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