Home > News >

Virat Kohli: This Indian team is not frightened of anything

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (above) refuted Dale Steyn’s comment that Indians were blown away by South Africa’s aggressive bowling © Getty Images

By Chetan Narula

Durban: Dec 7, 2013

India vice-captain Virat Kohli Saturday dismissed South Africa pacer Dale Steyn’s notion that he and his team-mates were ‘frightened’ of the Proteas’ attack, saying they were good enough to tackle the host pace battery.

South African pacers had peppered the Indians with fast and short-pitched balls in the series-opener and went on to record a crushing 141-run win. On the eve of the second ODI on Sunday, Steyn said they had actually managed to frighten the Indian batsmen at the Wanderers.

But Kohli refused to endorse the Steyn statement. “I don’t think anyone in this Indian team is frightened of anything. On a personal level, I don’t think so. Off the fourth ball I was down the wicket. It is not about getting frightened, he is a quality bowler and we all know that. We should be good enough to tackle that and come up with the goods when we face them,” Kohli asserted.

“Regardless of the loss the other day, you didn’t see anyone closing their eyes or swinging their bats around,” the aggressive Indian batsman, who batted at number three in Johannesburg and faced the initial onslaught of their pace battery, added.

Kohli, though was effusive in his praise for Steyn. “He was quite brilliant the other day, he is a world class bowler and we all know that. To bowl three maiden overs when we are chasing 359 is a skill that is very rare. To see him swing the ball from middle stumps and get it past the off-stump, actually the fifth off-stump, it was tough to face but it was something very rare because not many can swing the ball like he does,” Kohli said.

“We were trying hard to counter the bowling they came up with and they were bowling in great areas and no one was moving away from stumps, we were all trying to get into position to play correct shots but they pitched it in the right areas and were able to trouble us,” he explained.

At the same time, he impressed upon the importance of bowling well and restricting the South African batting.

Even so, Kohli defended the batsmen since they were faced with enviable task of chasing an improbable 359 on a pitch that afforded demonic pace and bounce to Steyn and company. “When you are chasing 359 there is not much you can do, you may have a set plan that you don’t want to play flashy shots in the beginning but when you are chasing a big total like that, you have no choice but to play those shots,” he said.

When reminded that he struck some beautiful boundaries in counter-attacking mode, and that skipper MS Dhoni also started his knock of 65 in similarly aggressive fashion, Kohli negated this theory.

“The situation was such that you had to try and disrupt their length and score boundaries and if you let the run-rate grow in South Africa, it is difficult to chase down such targets. I mean I was pretty confident in my mind that I could take them on and when Rohit was finding it difficult for the ball to hit the bat, I told him to carry on and that there shouldn’t be a rash shot and I decided to take them on and play a few shots and I connected a few,” he replied.

“But counter-attacking cannot always be an option, and isn’t the only option and it is only when you get stuck in such situations then you do that. It is about assessing conditions, the bowlers and not just step out and not knowing what to do,” Kohli added.

He has been at the forefront of many run-chases this season, as well as the last couple of years. But a 300-plus target can rarely be chased in conditions that merit genuine fast bowling. “We have to sort of restrict them with our bowling first and then chase it down or vice-versa if we are batting first,” Kohli said.

_________________________________________________________

“Watch Free Live Streaming of India vs South Africa Series 2013”

________________________________________________________

“Our bowlers have been bowling in the sub-continent for a while now and the lengths cannot be adjusted at such a short notice. It has just been one match and the unfortunate part is that we didn’t get that many practice sessions or practice games.”

Kohli hinted that the team-management was not considering changing Indian batting order or in fact the six first-choice batsmen, for what is a must-win game on Sunday. But it could be a pre-cursor to team India making some changes, particularly in the bowling department, especially with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav in the running on account of their superior pace as compared to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma.

“In ODIs you need fixed slots because you need to plan your innings, know how to go about that. The top-four have to be prepared mentally and I think that it is important for them to hold to their slots. We have learnt from the previous game and you will see a much better performance from the bowlers and batsmen combined. I hope we pitch the ball in the right areas and perform well.

“We always knew that we will get bounce and pace in South Africa. I don’t think we are caught in a trap anyhow. It is a game of cricket tomorrow and any side plays it well will win the game regardless of the conditions,” Kohli signed off.

South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Dubai

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Phillip Hughes passes away: Let us bring Sean Abbott back on track

Phil Hughes and other cricketers who succumbed to on-field injuries

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Australia England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes

Phil Hughes passes away: Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray pay tribute

Sri Lanka v England, 2nd ODI at Colombo, Preview: Hosts look to continue domination over England

Phil Hughes passes away: Former England cricketers feels for Sean Abbott

Phil Hughes passes away: Sourav Ganguly expresses grief

Bengal announce 14-member squad for Col CK Nayudu tournament

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan top-order prevails once again

Prakash Bhandari: The teenage prodigy BCCI could not capitalise on

Phil Hughes: Remembering his most memorable knocks

Phillip Hughes passes away: Kolkata is where Kolkata was

Phillip Hughes passes away: Crying for Phillip Hughes

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Yo Yo Honey Singh goes into depression? His whereabouts unknown!

इबोला प्रायोगिक दवा के प्रयोग के नतीजे सकारात्मक आए

Shocking: Priyanka Chopra’s property a part of a sex racket?

Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aamir Khan to share stage with Rajat Sharma to celebrate 21 years of Aap Ki Adaalat!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Kanika Maheshwari aka Meenakshi of Diya Aur Baati Hum: Gautam needs to control his anger a little

सुपरमॉडल केट का क्रिसमस के लिए ब्यूटी टिप्स

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here