Star India batter Virat Kohli is someone who wears his heart on his sleeve whenever he steps foot onto the cricket field. He always looks to be involved in the game. Whenever a bowler of his team claims a wicket, Kohli celebrates it with absolute passion.
Having faced Kohli in the initial part of his cricketing career, former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini is aware of the former Indian captain’s fiery character.
Speaking to Revsportz on Backstage With Boria show, Ntini shared a unique way to deal with a batter of Kohli's calibre.
“Don't sledge Virat Kohli. Any bowler who sledges him will have to pay the price. If you don't sledge and just let him be, he could get bored and make a mistake,” Ntini stated.
Kohli’s achievement as a cricketer is surreal, to say the least. He has taken Indian cricket to greater heights with his batting and captaincy over the years.
Virat has represented India in 111 Tests, 275 ODIs and 115 T20Is so far, amassing more than 25000 international runs with 76 centuries. He led India in 213 matches across formats and won 135 of them. His success rate as Indian captain is one of the best in the history of cricket.
“Let me tell you something about Virat Kohli, something I will tell every South African bowler who will bowl to him. Don't say a word to him when he is batting. I repeat, don't sledge him by saying anything to him. If you do so you are actually playing into his hands. He wants the sledge if you know him. He wants the combat and loves such things. If you do so, you are actually giving in to what he wants and it will only make him that much more determined and he will make you pay,” Ntini further said
“Rather, just keep silent against him. When he sees a bowler not say things, he will get bored. He needs action in the middle to be at his best. When he doesn't get it, he will find it boring and that's when he can make a mistake. With players like him you need to be smart and not do the things that you will do with other batters. So when you bowl to him try and stay silent and make him feel bored. That's your best chance of getting him out,” he added.
Kohli was last seen in action during the tour of West Indies last month, featuring in the two-match Test series and the first ODI. While Virat didn’t get a chance to bat in the only ODI he played, he registered scores of 76 and 121 in the two Test innings.
Virat Kohli is set to return to action in the Asia Cup 2023, slated to get underway on August 30 in Multan. India will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2.