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South Africa vs India 2018: Kohli perfectly spots opposition bowlers' plans for Pandya

ANALYST
News
856   //    15 Jan 2018, 14:33 IST

Virat K
Virat Kohli repeatedly informed Hardik Pandya from the non-striker's end of what he saw coming

What's the story?

India's captain Virat Kohli enabled his batting partner Hardik Pandya to interpret what South Africa's bowlers were planning to throw at the latter during the evening session on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test between South Africa and India at Centurion.

The experienced Kohli helped Pandya judge the reverse swing by placing his bat in a particular hand accordingly at the non-striker's end, reported Cricbuzz.com.

In case you didn't know..

To assure Pandya of the direction that the reversing ball would take, Kohli placed his bat in his left hand when he could foresee a reversing ball moving away from Pandya, while the bat moved to his right hand when he believed the ball would move into the right-hander. Kohli even used his feet to indicate that the left leg stood out with an expected outswinger, while the right one did with that of an inswinger.

In 2002, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid had used the same strategy against New Zealand, in particular Chris Cairns, to encounter reverse swing.

The heart of the matter

There were repeated exchanges on the pitch between Kohli and Pandya yesterday to understand how the South African bowlers operated. Kohli even informed Pandya when the bowler seemed to have changed his idea by telling Pandya in the 60th over of the innings, “Yahan pe change kiya (He has changed it here)”.

With light slightly fading at Supersport Park, Pandya told Kohli that the ball had become dark. He said, “ball kaala kar diya (the ball has become dark)” to which Kohli assured him that he could understand the same, and would inform him.

What's next?

India ended Day 2 at 183/5 with an arrear of 152 runs and Kohli and Pandya standing at the crease.

Day Three has begun with the captain on 85* and Pandya on 11*, with India hoping to erase the deficit with steady batting and application.

Author's Take

With Pandya being relatively new to Test cricket, Kohli's smart move to help the inexperienced all-rounder enabled him to encounter the skill and accuracy of Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and company.

This aid will hold Pandya in good stead, at least until Kohli is at the other end.

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ANALYST
A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by Cricbuzz.com aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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