Indian captain Virat Kohli has upset the South African media before a ball is bowled in the three-Test series in the "Rainbow Nation". Was the skipper playing mind games? Nobody knows.
Most of the times, before the start of a series, it is certain that captains from both teams address the media. Yesterday (January 4), on the eve of the first Test between South Africa and India, the hosts skipper Faf du Plessis faced the journalists.
The local scribes and the Indian media contingent were expecting to hear Kohli's thoughts on the series. But he gave them the slip. Instead, India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar turned up for the pre-match press conference.
This upset the local media. They were waiting for Kohli for nearly two hours and when the Indian skipper opted out, they "walked out".
"You could have told us earlier. We waited for two hours for Kohli," a senior South African journalist was quoted as saying by "Mumbai Mirror".
On Kohli not attending the press conference, the reason given by the Indian team spokesperson was that he had already spoken twice.
"He has already spoken twice about the series, so there was nothing more to say," said the Indian team spokesman.
The Indian team also opted not to practice one day before the Test as it was "optional". Kohli and his men head into the five-day game without having played any warm-up matches in South Africa.
India have never won a Test series in South Africa and many feel this is their best chance. Former captain and coach Anil Kumble recently backed them to create history.
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.
Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.
1st Test starts today (January 5) at 2 PM IST