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‘Massive’ Kohli wicket makes Elgar smile

Centurion – Proteas opener Dean Elgar knows that having Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s wicket in the bag is a major boost going into day five of the second Test at Centurion.

Needing 287 for victory in what has been an intriguing contest up until now, India needed their captain to contribute significantly in the run chase.

Kohli had been other-worldly in his innings of 153 in the first innings, scoring as many as the rest of the Indian side put together, but he was unable to repeat those heroics in the second dig.

Instead, 21-year-old South African debutant Lungi Ngidi dealt India’s chances of keeping the series alive a killer blow when he had Kohli trapped LBW for 5 late on day four.

India do still have Cheteshwar Pujara at the wicket, but they needed Kohli.

Now, at 35/3 and still 252 runs away, the visitors require a miracle.

Elgar, who made a vital 61 in South Africa’s second innings, could hardly hide his delight at having Kohli back in the hut.

“It’s massive for us and massive for India knowing that he’s not batting,” Elgar said after Tuesday’s play.

“He is a very special batsman, as we saw in the first innings, and we knew it was a massive moment to get him out.

“We also knew that it was very possible, because he’s human and he can also fail. I’m sitting here with a smile on my face knowing that he’s one less extremely talented guy that we don’t have to deal with.”

Elgar praised the efforts of his team-mates, particularly the fast bowlers, for getting this much out of a Centurion wicket that has been difficult for all concerned.

The job for Wednesday is clear.

“We need to get seven wickets somehow. We don’t really care how we get there,” Elgar said.

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