Watch: Virat Kohli’s Clever Strategy To Decode Reverse Swing For Hardik Pandya
Within a couple of years after replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Test captain, Virat Kohli has become a captain that every player loves to be led by. The 29-year old has not only led the side from the front but has also encouraged and backed his teammates to do well and the result is there for all to see. India has been sitting atop the Test rankings for over a year now after dismantling almost all the major teams.
Well, Kohli ‘the captain’ was looking in his elements on the second day of the ongoing Test against South Africa in Centurion. After leading India’s charge with an outstanding unbeaten fifty, the right-handed batsman made sure his teammates also do well against the formidable pace attack of the hosts. Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada were all getting some movement, both in and away, to constantly trouble the batsmen. India had lost Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel in the last session due to to inward and outward movement respectively and another wicket would have put the hosts firmly in control.
And to ensure that the batsmen do not get troubled by the South African pacers, Kohli devised a unique yet highly effective strategy to help his teammates counter the movement. The strategy was caught on the camera when Hardik Pandya, who is still relatively new to Test cricket, came out to bat after India lost their fifth wicket.
With his eyes well set, Kohli was well aware of how the ball would behave and so he took the job of decoding the reverse-swinging deliveries from the South African bowlers for Pandya.
If the shiny side of the ball was away from the batsman – which would result in the ball swinging away from Pandya – Kohli would hold his bat in the left hand while standing at the non-striker’s end. If the bowler gets one to reverse in, Kohli would switch the bat and hold it in his right hand, making Pandya give a heads up of what is to happen.
Here is a clip showing the strategy from Kohli:
Here is a transcript of the conversation that took place between the two:
Kohli: Yahan pe change kiya (He changed it in this delivery)
Hardik: Andar ke liye leke hi bhaagaa tha (He started to run with the one that would drift in)
Kohli: Jo leke niklega agar change karega toh uska opposite hai (The side of the ball he runs in with, if he changes, the movement will be opposite)
Hardik: Main bataaun aapko? (Should I tell you on what he is doing?)
Kohli: Nahin nahin, mujhe dikha, main bataa raha hun. [No, no.. I picked it, I am just telling you the strategy]
Here is another clip showing the conversation between the two:
The strategy paid off as the duo added 19 runs to help India close the day on 183 for 5. Kohli was unbeaten on 85 while Pandya was on 11.
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