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'Finally Manju bhai line pe aa gaya' - Fans recall Sanjay Manjrekar questioning Virat Kohli's place in Test XI back in 2012 as former heap praise on star batter

South Africa's bouncy tracks were difficult to bat on, but while all other Indian batters struggled to find resistance, Kohli showed his mettle yet again.

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Mathew K
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Sanjay Manjrekar & Virat Kohli (Source: Twitter)

Sanjay Manjrekar & Virat Kohli (Source: Twitter)

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar praised Virat Kohli for his spectacular display in the recently concluded Test series in South Africa. The Men in Blue played two Test matches against the Proteas and managed to level the series 1-1 - only the second time they have left the rainbow nation without losing a Test match.

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While the visitors were beaten by an innings and 32 runs in the opening match at Centurion, they recorded an emphatic seven-wicket victory in Cape Town. Kohli and KL Rahul were undoubtedly the two standout batters for Team India. The former India captain registered scores of 38, 76, 46 and 12 across the two Test matches and finished as the highest run scorer for his side at an average of 43.00. 

South Africa's bouncy tracks were difficult to bat on, but while all other Indian batters struggled to find resistance, Kohli showed his mettle yet again. Impressed by India senior batter's fighting spirit, Manjrekar said that India are blessed with Kohli in their team. He added that there is a big gap between Kohli and the next-best Test batter in India.

“Virat Kohli will no doubt play (Test cricket) as long as possible and thank god for India, we have a Virat Kohli. He showed on this trip the kind of the challenges that batters face that there’s a big distance between him and the next best Test batter in India at least until Rishabh Pant is back,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.

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Meanwhile, fans on social media recalled Manjrekar's old criticism of Kohli as the stalwart struggled to find his form in the red-ball cricket. Back in 2012, the 58-year-old questioned Kohli's pace in the Test team. He urged the management to give him one more chance to ensure that the right-hander was not fit to play in the format.

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There’s no competition for Rohit Sharma: Manjrekar 

The cricketer-turned-commentator also spoke about India captain Rohit Sharma's future in Test cricket. Manjrekar says there is no competition for Rohit and the veteran opener's future is in his own hands. 

“Rohit Sharma will be the man to let us know by his action on how much he wants to play Test cricket. These (Rohit and Kohli) are still batters from the old school. All the new guys will have to adapt to Test cricket. If Rohit Sharma wants to extend his Test career, it’s in his hands, there’s no competition,” he remarked.

India's next Test assignment is against England at home. The five-match series against Ben Stokes and C0. is scheduled to kick off on January 25 in Hyderabad. 

Here's how fans reacted to Sanjay Manjrekar praising Virat Kohli: 

 

Sanjay Manjrekar featured Virat Kohli India