India vice-captain Virat Kohli today dismissed South Africa pacer Dale Steyn's notion that he and his team-mates were 'frightened' of the Proteas' attack, saying they were good enough to tackle the host pace battery.
South African pacers had peppered the Indians with fast and short-pitched balls in the series-opener and went on to record a crushing 141-run win.
On the eve of the second ODI here tomorrow, Steyn said they had actually managed to frighten the Indian batsmen at the Wanderers.
But Kohli refused to endorse the Steyn statement.
"I don't think anyone in this Indian team is frightened of anything. On a personal level, I don't think so. 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. We should be good enough to tackle that and come up with the goods when we face them," Kohli asserted.
"Regardless of the loss the other day, you didn’t see anyone closing their eyes or swinging their bats around," the aggressive Indian batsman, who batted at number three in Johannesburg and faced the initial onslaught of their pace battery, added.
Kohli, though was effusive in his praise for Steyn.
"He was quite brilliant the other day, he is a world class bowler and we all know that. To bowl three maiden overs when we are chasing 359 is a skill that is very rare. To see him swing the ball from middle stumps and get it past the off-stump, actually the fifth off-stump, it was tough to face but it was something very rare because not many can swing the ball like he does," Kohli said.
"We were trying hard to counter the bowling they came up with and they were bowling in great areas and no one was moving away from stumps, we were all trying to get into position to play correct shots but they pitched it in the right areas and were able to trouble us,” he explained.
At the same time, he impressed upon the importance of bowling well and ‘restricting’ the South African batting.
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