Kohli calls Kuldeep, Chahal as 'brave bowlers'

R Ashwin

R Ashwin

They have fiddled around with little success against the trickery of the Indian wrist spinners, who have picked up 21 of the 28 South African wickets to fall in the three ODIs thus far.

Outstanding. I don't have words to explain this. They tended to take wickets by frustrating the batters, and not outsmarting them, a strategy that was not going to work in any given situation or bowling conditions. They are very fearless tossing the ball and asking the batsman to come out and play a risky shot.

Shami is an important part of India's World Cup 2019 plan and the 3-0 lead in this series has provided Kohli with an ideal opportunity to test his form and fitness levels, in addition to giving rest to his first choice pacers, who have been bowling continuously in all formats of the game.

Even while they have been trying to get used to playing spin in the nets, the hosts seem to be focussing on the mental aspect. But it was also clear that both spinners preferred to contain rather than attack the opposition batsmen.

Even in the momentum One Day Cup, South Africa's domestic 50-over competition, the leading wicket-taker this season has been a wrist spinner - Shamsi with 26 scalps in nine matches. "They have troubled the best batsmen in the business back home", Arun said ahead of the fourth ODI versus South Africa.

Chahal and Kuldeep have dominated with the ball for India in limited overs cricket, so much so that they have kept Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who are India's go-to spinners in Tests, out of the side.

"We wanted to look at all the existing talent that we had".

Du Plessis did a mighty good job in the first ODI in Durban but the others - except Chris Morris to an extent - failed to rally around their skipper.

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Speaking about the Pink Day, he said, "We do support the cause". However, the Proteas were handed a boost as AB de Villiers was included in the squad for the last three ODIS. From then on, South Africa only headed downwards, losing their last 5 wickets for 29 runs before being wrapped up for 179 in 40 overs.

Praising the performances of Chahal and Kuldeep, Arun said: "They are extremely positive".

"We haven't picked the wrong 'uns and when you are not picking their wrong 'uns, you are not necessarily going to be comfortable at the crease".

"We don't need to hit more balls, we don't need to change anything". They have enough skills to beat batsmen in the air and they back their instinct. But this is a hollow plan given the plentiful variations that Chahal and Kuldeep have in their armoury.

"We've just got to find a way to counter them (Chahal and Yadav)". They are very courageous tossing the ball and asking the batsman to come out and play a risky shot.

"And we said in overseas conditions wrist spinners would do better than what a finger spinner would. Outstanding", the skipper told reporters after the 124-run win over the Proteas on Wednesday. "It is not easy when things are moving from one day to the next".

"We (team management) want to rotate players to keep them nice and fresh". Every over they might pick up two wickets, that is the kind of belief they have in their abilities and the team has a belief in them, the team is backing them.

De Kock was injured during SA's defeat at Centurion, team manager Mohammed Moosajee said. If we can get him out, we can put India under pressure.

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