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Mandela and Gandhi get a role in cricket

india Updated: Dec 10, 2013 00:56 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
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Ahead of the second ODI, Dale Steyn had thrown the gauntlet, falling short of saying that the India batsmen were scared of the Proteas' bowling.

"Although, Rohit (Sharma) couldn't get bat to the first 15 balls he faced, he is still a great batsman," Steyn seemed to rub it in.

A while later, Virat Kohli reacted maturely, deciding not to get worked up. He almost killed the matter gracefully while denying that the India middle order was scared.

Great bowlers always target the best of the visiting batsmen and it is no surprise that Steyn has his eyes trained on Virat, who he calls a "great friend". Despite Virat's calm demeanour and Steyn's calculated aggression, some sparks did fly on Sunday.

Virat let off a bit of steam after Steyn's hard looks, although things didn't get out of hand as it was also the day South Africa were celebrating Nelson Mandela's life.

If Steyn was the toughest, Hashim Amla went to the other end, drawing from the teachings of Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi and the spirit they would have liked cricket to be played in. "Both teams are very respectful of each other and fitting with the whole thing going on — Nelson Mandela passing away, the way he conducted himself throughout his life and another Indian icon is Mahatma Gandhi. The way those two guys conducted their lives, it is in the spirit of the game to following what they brought to the world," said Amla.

AB de Villiers giggled and quipped, "Everybody's looking at you with love in their eyes!" That ‘love' is something South Africa may not really want with the Tests still round the corner.