Virat Kohli
In preparation for the first One-Day International against South Africa, Virat Kohli takes part in a practice session.

Virat Kohli, before India’s first ODI against South Africa, shared images from the team’s net session in Paarl on Tuesday.

For the first time in over five years, Virat Kohli will face South Africa in the inaugural One-Day International at Paarl as a pure hitter in limited-overs cricket. For the first time since being sacked as ODI captain in December, Kohli will be playing without the pressure of being the team’s skipper. Against the West Indies in August 2019, Kohli smashed back-to-back hundreds in ODIs.

While Kohli hasn’t scored a century in 15 innings since then, he has hit 8 half-centuries and has been the run machine that he is known to be. As a result of Kohli’s high standards and his few Test defeats, there has been a growing discussion concerning a decline in performance.

With the bat, Kohli would like to silence all the commotions. White-ball captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have discussed Kohli’s value to the team and his desire to step up and contribute to the series while Rohit is absent.

On Tuesday, Kohli shared images from the Indian team’s net session in Paarl ahead of the first one-day international against South Africa.

When he takes to the field in Paarl for the first one-day international, Kohli will be only a few runs shy of joining two other Indian greats on an exclusive list. In one-day internationals, Indian batsmen Rahul Dravid (1309 runs) and Sourav Ganguly (1313 runs) are the third and second highest-scoring Indians against South Africa. Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 2001 runs in 57 encounters against the Proteas, presently sits on the chart with 1287 runs, while Kohli is currently fourth.

Ricky Ponting, who scored 1879 runs against South Africa, is second on the all-time record.

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