Virat Kohli was a content man after India’s win in the 3rd ODI against South Africa in Cape Town.
The Indian team had gone to South Africa high on confidence after an extremely successful home season, but there was still a blot there for Virat Kohli, as he and his team did not quite have the ‘stellar’ record in overseas conditions.
Kohli and co. had set out to right the wrongs about the previous overseas tours, but defeat in the first two Tests meant that further criticism was on its way.
The team though did not let their guard down, winning the 3rd Test in Jo’Burg and then comprehensively beating South Africa in white ball cricket in the first 3 ODI’s.
Kohli has led from the front all through, batting responsibly and effectively during the Test and the ODI series. He has been well backed up by the bowling unit, with the fast bowlers stepping up during the Test series, and the wrist spinners wrecking havoc during the ongoing ODI series.
Chahal and Kuldeep have caught the imagination of the world, with cricket experts and pundits all over going gaga over the trickery that the duo possess. And while trickery can only you take you so far, it’s the confidence that they have in their abilities, which allows them to stifle the batsman during crucial stages of the match.
Virat Kohli is chuffed with the performance of the spin twins and feels that they could be a huge factor during the 2019 World Cup, as they can spin the ball even on glass. If the pitch offers even a hint of assistance to them, they can run through any batting order on a given day.
“I don’t have words to explain this. It’s outstanding to see two guys just totally spinning a web around the opposition. There doesn’t seem to be a way out at all. It’s unbelievable. Credit to them. Both have been working hard on their game. Both are very brave in terms of how they bowl and the kind of fields they want as well. They are very brave tossing the ball and asking the batsman to come out and play a risky shot. Hats off to them but the other debate is a bit away from now. You never know what happens in the future but I am really happy at the moment.” Kohli said during the post match press conference.
The Indian skipper feels that having mostly plied their trade on unforgiving, flat tracks in India, the duo have honed their skills so much, that they have turned into a menace on these dry and bouncy South African wickets.
“We knew they will pick up wickets. Because wrist spinners, these guys have bowled in flatter batting tracks at home. Some might think they have bowled in T20 cricket when the conditions are very, very difficult and they have picked up wickets on a regular basis you know.
“Here they felt even better because they were getting bounce, on some pitches like today, it got really slow at the end so they were getting turn as well. They feel at the top of their game when they have the pitches supporting them even a little bit. But they are very brave and even on flatter pitches, wrist spinners will also come into play and they have made that difference in the game. They might go for 6 an over, we knew that but they will pick up 3-4 wickets between them. They have done outstandingly well in the last two games picking up a majority of the wickets in both games and being the difference between both sides.” the Indian skipper added.
A lot of credit also has to go to the amount of freedom that Kohli and the team management have given the wrist spinners. Wrist spinners are bound to leak a few runs, but Kohli has given them the freedom to toss the ball up and go for wickets, something that the duo has responded really well to.
“The thing is very simple. They are told to go for wickets at all times. When you are going for wickets you are bowling in areas that are uncomfortable for the batsmen and more often than not they end up defending. When you bowl wide and try to save runs then you give an opportunity to take singles also. So I think all the credit has to go to them because they’ve executed those lines and lengths perfectly.
“They’ve always, every over they’ve asked two-three questions of the batsmen, that is something outstanding. I haven’t seen that before. Every over they might pick up two wickets, that is the kind of belief they have in their abilities and the team has a belief in them, the team is backing them. They might get hit for 70-odd in the next game. But there is no problem in that because you know that if they bowl attacking lines then they will end up picking 2-3 wickets every game. Going ahead in these conditions now, and we are going to play the World Cup away from home, that I think is going to be the massive factor for us.” Kohli concluded.
Indian cricket romantics would be absolutely chuffed to see this kind of impact from the wrist spinners and would hope that they duo can go on and perform exceedingly well during the 2019 World Cup in England.