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

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 2 — All matches: Yuvraj Singh scores 2nd century in his 2nd Ranji game this season

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina included in BCCI Grade A contracts

India tour of Australia: BCCI allows wives to accompany cricketers on tour

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand 2014-15: Lasith Malinga set for ODI series return

WICB accused by attorney of victimising Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, and Kieron Pollard

Ranji Trophy 2014-15: Yuvraj Singh scores back to back hundreds in Ranji Trophy

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

ICC World Cup 2015: Will India’s trend of performing against expectations continue?

Moin Khan: Pakistan must carry momentum in ICC World Cup 2015

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: One-sided encounters may suck interest out of series

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can Australia make it 12 wins in a row at home?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

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

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

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here