One would not want to be in the South African camp right now. Virat Kohli is scoring at an average of 318 in the current series. South Africa are staring down their worst series defeat in recent times and injuries have reduced their batting line-up to a second string one. But the pain inflicted by two young Indian wrist spinners has surpassed them all. So much so, that they have now sought help from an Indian origin spinner to help them decode Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
In Cape Town, South Africa used five spinners in the nets, none coming even close to the threat possessed by Chahal and Kuldeep. The result was another confident-denting defeat, surrendering eight wickets to the spin-duo.
At their wits end, the South African team management has now drafted in somebody who has played at the First Class level in India.
Ajay Rajput, who played Ranji Trophy for Madhya Pradesh in the 2013-14 season was called at the South African nets ahead of the series deciding fourth ODI. Ajay is presently playing at the Johannesburg Premier league and is the highest wicket taker among the spinners having claimed over 400 wickets already.
“I was given a call by the Johannesburg Cricket Club chairman to come and bowl at South African batsman,” said the Jabbalpur boy to Wah Cricket.
Ajay is primarily an off-spinner but can also bowl leg spin. On Friday, he bowled at Markram, Duminy and Amla for a long time.
“The South Africans feel Chahal and Kuldeep are bowling slower through the air, allowing the ball to drift and turn. So, I was asked to flight the ball and bowl as slow as possible to get familiar with the turn,” said Ajay, who has been playing league cricket in Johannesburg for five years.
“The difference between here and India is the bounce.I used toget turn even back home but here I get that extra bounce, which just makes matter more difficult for batsmen.”
However, the Wanderers pitch may not assist the spinners as much as the previous three ODIs. The match will be played on a different wicket from where the contovesrial Test match was played. And this time there is no sing of grass. The pitch bears a whitish look, indicating it will help the batsmen.