“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,” said Ntini while speaking to Revsportz on Backstage With Boria show.
And then Ntini added, “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. 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.”Ntini chose Anrich Nortje as his player of the competition when discussing the South African bowling at the forthcoming World Cup.
“Anrich Nortje is bowling a tad too short. If he bowls slightly up and whoever is coaching him should tell him that, he can run through any batting line up in the world. Let me make a prediction here. Anrich Nortje could well be the player of the tournament. Not simply the bowler of the tournament but also the man of the tournament. Just one suggestion for him- he is still bowling a little short. Whoever is his coach needs to tell him to go a little more fuller. If he does so, the talent and pace that he has, Anrich can run through any batting line up during the world cup. I will not be surprised if he wins South Africa a few matches single-handedly.”
“My four semi-finalists are South Africa, India, Australia and Pakistan”, said Ntini.
The best chance South Africa has to win the World Cup, Ntini added, is now. “I actually think South Africa has their best chance in this World Cup to bring the trophy home. It is for the reason you mention that they are going to be the best prepared. Each one of them play the IPL and spend more than two months playing in Indian conditions. These pitches are not alien to them. They know what to expect and how to deal with the conditions on offer. And the team has serious talent. In the fast bowling department Rabada, Nortje and Ngidi are as good as any line up in the world and in spin we have Maharaj and Shamsi. The batting with De Kock, Bavuma, Miller is extremely good and Bavuma is a very good captain. So when you look at the balance you know why I am saying South Africa has a very good chance.”
Heaping praise on Temba Bavuma as captain, Ntini said, “Bavuma is an excellent captain. Not many give him the credit he deserves. He reads the game well and bats well. Most importantly he is a good man manager. In South Africa we know there have been issues with man management in the past. But with Bavuma it is one strong flock. That’s what captaincy should be about. Getting the best out of your teammates and get their respect as leader.”
Ntini concluded by saying that the way South African women played the World Cup at home will now put pressure on the men to deliver. “The men are under pressure now and it will be embarrassing if they don’t do well. Jokes apart, the women have shown the way by making the final. It galvanised the whole country. They have shown the men what can be done and now the men will have to step up and go one better. They need to win the trophy and bring it home. It is a healthy rivalry between the two teams, men and women, and will only help South African cricket get better”, he concluded.
(With ANI inputs)