Durban: Virat Kohli dismissed South African 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 hosts’ pace battery.
On the eve of Sunday’s second ODI, here, Steyn said they had actually managed to frighten the Indian batsmen in the first ODI at the Wanderers. But Kohli contradicted Steyn’s 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 (Steyn) is a quality bowler and we all know that. We should be good enough to tackle everything and come up with the goods when we face him,” Kohli asserted.
“Regardless of the loss the other day, you didn’t see anyone closing their eyes or swinging their bats around,” the vice-captain, added.
Kohli, though, was effusive in his praise for Steyn. “No wonder, he is a world class bowler. To bowl three maiden overs when we were trying to attack chasing 359, is certainly an exceptional bit of skill.
“To see him swing the ball from middle-stump and get it past the off-stump was something very rare because not many can swing the ball like he can,” Kohli said. “We were trying hard to counter the bowling they came up with. We were all trying to get into position to play the correct shots, but they pitched it in the right areas and were able to trouble us,” he explained.
“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 reasoned.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the entire team, Kohli paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. “It (Mandela’s demise) was a sad moment for everyone all around the world. He has changed the face of this country and the change he brought about was something that no one else had done before.
“He had done a lot not only for South Africa, but for people all around the world.”