South Africa have brutally exposed India’s shortcomings against the short-pitched stuff and while the hosts are relishing having the visitors on the mat, MS Dhoni’s side don’t seem to have taken kindly to some television footage that was shown during the innings break on Wednesday when the two sides clashed in the third ODI.
According to sources, India have taken offence at the host broadcaster Supersport’s decision to replay the footage of middle order batsman Virat Kohli being struck in the ribs during the series- opener at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on December 5.
Kohli, who was atop the ICC ODI rankings, was also shown holding an ice-pack to his ribs in the dressing room and then repeatedly rehearsing the pull shot during a net session before the game.
The caption at the beginning of the sequence read: ‘Kohli – softened up.’ This was not the sort of visual the Indians were keen on seeing especially when they are going through a torrid time.
Kohli scored 31 in the two games he batted in. The source added that Duncan Fletcher, the India coach, then summoned Supersport’s director to the Indian dressing room and sought an explanation.
Fletcher, according to sources, gave the director a piece of his mind and suggested to him that he stick to cricketing visuals in future. However, sources within the Indian camp said the broadcast official was summoned as India wanted some visuals of their bowlers.
Benign track at Benoni
India, meanwhile, are set for their two-day warm-up match against a South African Invitational XI and although the side had an optional practice session yesterday, every player turned up.
The pitch in Benoni apparently has little for the pacers, so this game could prove to be an exercise in futility. So much for true preparation for the two Tests!