Kirsten critical of Indian batters’ Newlands show

Peter Kirsten, the elder brother of former India coach Gary and a fleet-footed right-hander in his time, says Virat Kohli and his boys waved and poked at deliveries outside the off-stump as if they wanted to nick it.

For India to fight back in the series, the batsmen needed to put their hands up, says Kirsten.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

 

Former South African batsman Peter Kirsten was scathing in his criticism of the Indian batting display in the first Test here at Newlands.

Kirsten, the elder brother of former India coach Gary and a fleet-footed right-hander in his time, told Sportstar on Wednesday, “The last time the Indians came here, they were ‘leaving’ a lot more deliveries. This time they weren’t doing so and I am surprised.”

Read: Don’t write off India, says McMillan

The 62-year-old Kirsten, now involved in a cricket South Africa programme for coaching schoolboys, said, “The Indians waved and poked at deliveries outside the off-stump as if they wanted to nick it. You just cannot do that.”

He added, “If you decide to play a shot, you should go at the ball forcefully, through the line if it is possible, so that even if you edge the ball, it flies over the slip. Otherwise, just leave the ball.”

I’ll be up and running in six weeks: Dale Steyn

Kirsten was disappointed at the Indian shot-making. “Kohli in the first innings, he just poked at the ball outside off. And on pitches with bounce here, Dhawan should realise that the hook and the pull shots are extremely dangerous options against the new ball.”

The South African added, “You need to be sure with your footwork. If you want to go forward, go fully forward. Do not do so half-heartedly and get caught out at the crease. The Indian batsmen have to get their feet moving, either forward or back.”

Pandya could develop into a fantastic asset: Klusener

The 62-year-old Kirsten observed, “Only Hardik Pandya showed the way. There were no half measures in his batting. He went for the ball hard. He was not in two minds.”

Talking about the South African bowling, he said, “They are making pitches for Philander. He is very difficult to play in these conditions. Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada are testing bowlers who can get bounce. In fact, I have never seen such quick bounce at Newlands before.”

Looking at the pitch at Centurion, the venue for the second Test beginning on Saturday, Kirsten noted, “It would be similar to the one at Newlands. There will be movement but the bounce could be slower than what we saw at Newlands.”

Kirsten was appreciative of the Indian pacers and said, “They bowled well in the second innings. They bowled the right length. But I thought their length was too short in the first innings, especially when they bowled at the tail.”

For India to fight back in the series, the batsmen needed to put their hands up, concluded Kirsten.