Former South African fast bowler and current cricket commentator –Fanie de Villiers, on Tuesday, gave a glimpse of his memorable journey back to the 1990s when he was considered as one of the fatal bowlers of the game.
In the 1990s, batting maestro –Sachin Tendulkar was tormented many world-class bowlers across the world. De Villiers managed to dismiss the legendary Indian batsman 4 times in 16 outings.
The Proteas pacer also revealed that how he succeeded in getting the prized wicket of Tendulkar, saying his contempt towards slower deliveries helped him to dismiss the Master Blaster.
Fanie de Villiers told CricketNext, “Sachin never took my slower balls seriously. By slower balls, I mean the off-cutters which would grip on the wickets in the sub-continent and catch the batsmen off guard. Back in the early 90s, only Manoj Prabhakar and I bowled them and Sachin wanted to hit them out of the ground. That is how I managed to dismiss him time and again, be it in Sharjah or in India during the Titan Cup in 1996.”
On being asked how he would get Virat Kohli out, Fanie would not want to bowl Indian skipper, saying, “Kohli at the crease? I would rather pull my hammy (hamstring muscle) and walk off to the dressing room. This lad can pack a punch and he is a class player. But, if I did have to bowl to him, it would have to be just outside the off-stump as being a swing bowler, I would then bring the slip fielders into play. You have to attack him on the fourth stump and get him to drive away from his body. If you can get him early, good for you because otherwise, you will be on a day-long leather chase.”
Commenting on Hardik Pandya, Fanie said that he has all attributes to become a world-class all-rounder, but he needs to work a lot on his bowling to label himself as an international level bowler.
He further added, “He is a warrior and a good batsman coming lower down the order. But Pandya needs to work on his bowling quite a bit. He still has some way to go before he can be called an international level bowler. The wrist action is something that needs to be taken care of and he needs to be guided by a former pacer who knows the tricks of the trade. He has the talent and now needs proper guidance.”
The 53-year-old also claimed that the Men in Blues lost the series because of their batsmen, as well as, agreed with many to have Ajinkya Rahane in the Team. De Villiers signed off by saying, “You cannot play bad shots and throw your wicket away in South Africa. In these conditions, you need batsmen who will grind it out and play session after session. You cannot start well and throw your wicket away here, and that is where I feel the Indians have lacked. They needed someone like Ajinkya Rahane in the team to help provide that solidarity in the middle-order. You can’t just rely on Kohli all the time.”