On Thursday at the Wanderers, a fired-up Dale Steyn bowled 11 deliveries to Virat Kohli, who scored 11 runs off those. The South African pacer had the bigger say off the first half a dozen, before the combative right-hander hit him for back-to-back fours. The outcome: probably all square.
Having delivered a potent reminder of the damage that he is capable of inflicting a couple of days earlier, Steyn had come out and sounded a warning to the entire Indian camp, insisting that things were only about to get nastier for the visitors. Much like he did during the first ODI, Kohli handled the verbal bout with composure.
"I didn't see many of our guys walking off the field with bloody fingers or ice packs on ribs, so it definitely was a wake-up call for the Indians. It's not Mumbai where the ball doesn't get higher than the stumps. It's going to be hard to play here," said Steyn. But Kohli wasn't having any of it.
"I mean off the fourth ball, I was down the wicket. It is not about getting frightened, he is a quality bowler and we all know that and we should be good enough to tackle that and come up with the goods when we face him. I don't think anyone in this Indian team is frightened of anything," Kohli said. "Regardless of the loss the other day, you didn't see anyone sort of closing their eyes or swinging their bats."
Friends off it
Steyn, though, acknowledge that India still had the potential to fight back, making special mention of his ‘good friend' Kohli and his ability with the bat. But even his appreciation was tongue-in-cheek. "Virat Kohli can bat. I know him well. And even though he couldn't lay bat on ball the other night, Rohit is still a very good player," he said.
Steyn wasn't so approving of the skills of the Indian middle-order, however, insisting that the likes of Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and R Ashwin didn't look they wanted to get in line, asserting that they had been hit by a fear psychosis.
"They can't score in different areas and it's not going to be easy and they are not used to it," he said. "There's more of that coming on Sunday."