Virat Kohli's bowling changes were spot on during the first match between India and South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

India captain Virat Kohli has backed all-rounder Axar Patel to play international cricket for a long period of time if the latter stays fit and work on his skills. The 27-year old has picked up 36 wickets from five matches with as many as five five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul in his Test career.

After taking 27 wickets against England earlier this year, he added another 9 in a two-match Test series against New Zealand.

“Axar is obviously is an all-rounder cricketer. His skill sets provide a good balance to any team he plays for precisely why he is performing well for so long in T20 cricket and Test too whenever he is given an opportunity. The good thing to see is he is adapting his game according to the need of the format,” Kohli said.

“Which I think is a great sign, if he can keep his fitness levels up, if he can keep working on his game then you know he has a potential to play for a long time and that’s basically the need of the hour in today’s cricket.

“If you can’t keep up your fitness level it becomes more and more difficult. At the moment he is going through a great phase and I wish him all the success. I hope he stays fit and hungry to play for a long time,” he added.

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