Did Virat Kohli-Hardik Pandya do a Tendulkar-Dravid in countering reverse swing in Centurion?
India skipper Virat Kohli, from the non-striker’s end, helped Hardik Pandya figure out which way the ball would move after pitching on the second day of the Centurion Test against South Africa.cricket Updated: Jan 15, 2018 14:12 IST
At 100/2, India seemed to sail well as they aimed to go past South Africa’s first innings total of 335. However, following the dismissals of Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma in the last session of day 2, the hosts were back on top with India’s hopes resting on captain Virat Kohli (85) and Hardik Pandya (11). (South Africa vs India 2nd Test Day 3 Updates)
The pitch at Centurion isn’t the one that provides sharp movement off it but still, Rohit and Parthiv were both dismissed off balls that nipped after hitting the deck. With Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi running in hard in search for yet another breakthrough, Kohli and Pandya discovered a brilliant method to keep the Proteas at bay. (South Africa vs India 2nd Test Day 3 Scores)
Given the position in which the ball is held before being released is a significant factor that determines the pitching of the delivery, the skipper could be seen guiding his junior pro from the striker’s end letting him know how the bowler’s planning his next delivery.
According to a Cricbuzz report, amongst a host of indications that Kohli signaled to Pandya from the non-striker’s end, were the ones like the skipper holding his bat in his right hand to let Pandya know that he should be expecting an in-swinger and on the left for one that goes out. He would also stretch out his left leg for an outswinger and the right for an incoming delivery.
An interesting conversation is also caught on the stump microphone during the 60th over in which Kohli was facing Philander. Kohli defended the third delivery and said: “Yahan pe change kiya (Here he changed it).”
Pandya can be heard saying: “Andar ke liye leke hi bhaagaa tha woh (He came in running ran in with the one that would come in)”. Kohli further lets him know: “Jo leke niklega agar change karega toh uska opposite hai (If he changes the side of the ball he runs in with, it will go the opposite way)”.
Pandya further enquires if he should let his captain know of the face of the ball but Kohli rules that out stating: “Nahin nahin, mujhe dikha, main bataa raha hun (No, no. I spotted it, I am just telling you).”
It seemed to be a successful ploy as India didn’t lose any further wicket towards the end of the day’s play.
This isn’t the first time that batsmen at the non-striking end have helped their partners. Sachin Tendulkar had once revealed how he had helped Rahul Dravid by holding the bat in a particular way to let him know if the bowler has kept the shiny side at a certain side.