On the first day of the ongoing second Test against South Africa, India captain Virat Kohli face a lot of criticism. It was over selection issues. Many were unhappy with the Delhi right-hander for dropping Shikhar Dhawan and in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Among many, former India opener Virender Sehwag too had lashed out at Kohli's choices for the Test. India were trailing 0-1 in the three-Test rubber and in such a situation it was important to pick the right team. However, Kohli and the team management felt they had done the right job in choosing the Playing XI in Centurion.
Shikhar had failed in both the innings of the first Test in Cape Town. India lost by 72 runs. He was replaced by KL Rahul. But Bhuvneshwar's omission was shocking. He had bowled and batted well but still found himself warming the benches in Centurion.
Sehwag did not take Shikhar's axing lightly and blasted Kohli stating that the skipper should drop himself for the third Test in Johannesburgh if he fails in Centurion.
"Watching Virat Kohli exclude Shikhar Dhawan for just one Test failure and Bhuvneshwar for no reason at all, Kohli should drop himself in the third Test in Johannesburg, if he fails to perform in Centurion," Sehwag told India TV.
On Bhuvneshwar, he told the channel, "Excluding Bhuvneshwar wasn't the right decision. Citing that Ishant might benefit from his height, Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar's self-confidence.
"They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler. Bhuvneshwar performed well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn't justified."
So, how does one respond to criticism? With the bat. Yes. Kohli has the best reply to Sehwag about "dropping himself". The 29-year-old single-handedly carried India's batting with a superb 153 at SuperSport Park on Monday (January 15).
On way to his 21st Test century, Kohli broke records. He is only the second Indian captain, after Sachin Tendulkar, to score a ton in South Africa.
Sehwag has got his answer from Kohli. There is no need for the captain to drop himself for the third and final Test in Johannesburg.
India were bowled out for 307 with Kohli scoring almost 50 per cent of those runs. The visitors handed South Africa 28-run first innings lead. At stumps on the third day, the hosts were 90/2 with an overall lead of 118.