India skipper Virat Kohli retorted to all the nation-wide criticisms on Sunday, when he came back to form and looked comfortable whacking the ball to the boundary. By the end of the day 2’s play of the 2nd Test, Kohli had scored an unbeaten 85, which helped India to hang on at 183/5 against South Africa. Towards the end of South Africa’s bowling spell, Kohli was helping Hardik Pandya to stand ground against the Proteas. The duo were heard in a conversation in the stump-mic, and it will make you ponder over the captain’s intelligence.
After Hardik Pandya defended Vernon Philander’s delivery, Virat Kohli told him, “Yaha pe change kiya”, to which Pandya replied, “Andar ke liye leke hi bhaga tha woh.”
Kohli responded and explained Pandya a little further about what tactics Vernon Philander was using. He said, “Jo leke niklega, agar change karega, toh uska opposite hai”.
Virat Kohli was also seen showing foot signals to Hardik Pandya, to make it easy to communicate and adapt to the bowlers’ varying pace and tactics.
As South Africa was managing to generate the reverse swing with the old ball, Indian batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel had found it hard to stay put at the crease. However, once Hardik Pandya stepped on the crease, Virat Kohli had decided to put an end to the bowlers’ lethal unpredictability.
Later on, when Pandya countered a sudden in-swinger by punching the delivery for a boundary, bowler Lungi Ngidi was left wondering. The help was being provided by Virat Kohli, who was communicating the right signals at the right time to Pandya from the other end.
At one point of time, Kohli even started to use his feet to indicate Pandya; for outswinger – left leg out, and for inswinger – right leg out.
After Vernon Philander’s spell was over and Morne Morkel came to bowl, Pandya was soon seeking for help again. The all-rounder told Kohli that he was facing difficulties to figure out the shiny side of the Kookaburra. It was also owing to the dying light, that Pandya said, “ball kaala kar diya (the ball is getting dark).” Kohli assured his partner and responded by saying, “Wohi mujhe dikh raha hai, main bataunga (But I can see it, I will keep telling you).”
Although Hardik Pandya got run-out to Philander’s direct hit on the 3rd day of the 2nd Test on Monday, Virat Kohli batted on till 153 before getting out on Morne Morkel’s delivery. However, India came a long way, and are currently trailing 25 runs to South Africa, after getting all-out for 307.