India captain Virat Kohli and Australia‘s Steve Smith shared a laugh during their encounter in the warm-up game on Wednesday in Dubai. This was in regards to Virat Kohli’s bowling action which Smith mimicked.
With Hardik Pandya still not completely fit to bowl, Virat Kohli took the challenge up to himself to be India’s sixth bowling option. He came on to bowl his medium pace in the 7th over of Australia’s innings with Smith at strike.
Despite seeming nonthreatening Virat Kohli did manage to surprise Australia talisman batter. His first delivery was a loopy full ball which Smith left thinking it was going wide but slightly swung back in. The second ball was directed into Smith’s stumps as the batsman defended it back to Virat Kohli.
Smith seemed to be have been amused by Virat Kohli’s weird action, slanting the ball into the right-hander, as he mocked his action and had a chuckle about it. He did it again after guiding the third ball down the ground for a single – perhaps indicating that the ball may be a bit difficult to pick from Virat Kohli’s action.
Watch – Steve Smith Mimics Virat Kohli’s Bowling Action
— Ves (@Ves84442098) October 20, 2021
Virat Kohli bowled two wicket-less overs but conceded only 12 runs, which isn’t bad for a part-time bowling option.
Hardik should be ready to bowl by the start of the tournament: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma, who was captaining India versus Australia as Virat Kohli was rested, gave a crucial update about Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness.
Pandya, who holds the key to the balance of the side, didn’t bowl a single ball in the entire IPL 2021 season for Mumbai Indians. He was constantly being monitored as he has been dealing with back injury issues for the past couple of years.
Stressing on the importance of a sixth bowler, Sharma stated that while Hardik isn’t deemed completely fit to bowl now, they are expecting him to contribute with the ball during the main tournament.
“We want to make sure that we get the 6th bowling option, some options in the batting order as well, we’ll try all those things today. Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament. We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a 6th bowler,” Rohit Sharma said.
Shardul Thakur is the other seam-bowling all-rounder who was added to the 15-man squad replacing Axar Patel.
India won both their warm-up matches, versus England and Australia, and will be taking on Pakistan in their opening encounter on October 24 in Dubai.