Makhaya Ntini speaks his mind and doesn't believe in political correctness. Every cricketer, past or present, has shared their views on how to tackle a batsman of Virat Kohli's caliber, and the former South African pacer has revealed a unique way of dealing with him on the pitch. “Don't sled with Virat Kohli. Any bowler who hits him has to pay the price. If you don't sled and just leave him alone, he might get bored and make a mistake,” Virat Kohli told Revsportz on the Backstage With Boria show.
And then adds, “Let me tell you something about Virat Kohli, something I'll tell every South African bowler that's going to bowl before him.” Don't say a word to him when he's batting. I repeat, don't bother him by saying anything to him. When you do that, you are actually playing into his hands. He wants the sled, if you know him. He wants the fight and loves things like that. When you do that, you are actually giving in to his desires, and it will only make him more determined and make you pay for it. Better just keep quiet about him. When he sees a bowler not saying anything, he gets bored. He needs action in the middle to be at his best. If he doesn't get it, it gets boring and then he can make a mistake. With players like him you have to be smart and not do the things you would do with other batters. So if you're bowling in front of him, try to stay calm so he gets bored. This is your best chance to get him out.”
Speaking of South African bowling at the World Cup, Ntini has chosen Anrich Nortje as his player of the tournament.
“Anrich Nortje bowls a little too short. If he throws up easily and whoever is coaching him should tell him so, he can run through any batting lineup in the world. Let me make a prediction here. Anrich Nortje could well be the player of the tournament. Not just the bowler of the tournament, but also the man of the tournament. Just one suggestion for him: When it comes to bowling, he still comes up short. Whoever his trainer is has to tell him to get a little fuller. If he can do that, Anrich can use his talent and pace to play through any batting side during the World Cup. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins a few games single-handedly in South Africa.”
“My four semi-finalists are South Africa, India, Australia and Pakistan,” says Ntini.
He also says this is South Africa's best chance of winning the World Cup. “I actually think South Africa have the best chance of bringing the trophy home at this World Cup. For the reason you mention, they will be best prepared. Each of them plays the IPL and plays in Indian conditions for more than two months. These pitches are not alien to them. They know what to expect and how to deal with the conditions offered. And the team has serious talent. In the fast bowling department, Rabada, Nortje and Ngidi are as good as any lineup in the world and in the spin we have Maharaj and Shamsi. The batting with De Kock, Bavuma and Miller is extremely good and Bavuma is a very good captain. So if you look at the record you can see why I say South Africa has a very good chance.”
He has showered Bavuma with praise as captain. “Bavuma is an excellent captain. Not many give him the recognition he deserves. He can read the game well and hits well. Most importantly, he is a good manager. We know that South Africa has had problems with staff management in the past. But with Bavuma it's a strong herd. That's what the captaincy should be about. Bring out the best in your teammates and earn their respect as a leader.”
He concludes that the way the South African women played the World Cup at home will now put pressure on the men to perform. “The men are under pressure now and it gets embarrassing when they don't do it well. Jokes aside, the women led the way by making it to the finals. It shook the whole country. You have shown men what can be done, and now men must go one step further. You must win the trophy and bring it home. “It's a healthy rivalry between the two sides, men's and women's, and will only help South African cricket get better,” he concluded.
(Except for the headline, this article was not edited by NDTV staff and is published via a syndicated feed.)
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