South African legend Dale Steyn detailed a plan to counter Virat Kohli in Test cricket ahead of the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand.
Steyn, who has dismissed Kohli four times in international cricket, and has played 23 matches against him at this level, said that he would look to “play mind games with Virat [Kohli]” in an ESPNCricinfo show with Sanjay Manjrekar.
While the plan of bowling around the fifth stump to Kohli has been rinse and repeated by quicks all over the world, Steyn suggested a different way of keeping the batsman guessing.
“You’ve got to play mind games with Virat,” Steyn said. “I would look at putting somebody in at short leg. I would let him know that I’m going to come at him, come at his body, want to come quickly at him. And I’d want him to try and pull because I feel like that’s his B game.”
Steyn explained that he’d want Kohli to be caught unawares, and would use the short leg as bait, with a constant reminder of why he is there.
“Even though he does it really well, I’d want him to think that’s where I’m going to bowl, and then get it up there because I like to swing the ball, I like to move the ball. Look for those three modes of dismissals, LBW, bowled and the caught behind.”
“We know, every batter’s feet in the first 20 balls is not moving as well as he’s like to. His eyes haven’t adjusted, he hasn’t adapted to the wicket just yet. So I’d want him to think I’m going to go short but I’ll probably bowl six full balls to him to be honest,” Steyn said.
“I’ll probably be trying to get him to nick every single ball but I’ll be telling him, ‘it’s coming… I’m going to hit you in the head you know’. I’m not going to swear at him but let him know that that short leg is in business.”
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