New Delhi: They are undoubtedly two of the world’s best batsmen, across all formats, but it is a duck that connects India skipper Virat Kohli and South Africa captain AB de Villiers.
As the two teams prepare for the must-win game at the Oval on Sunday, both Kohli and de Villiers will be coming into the game having failed to trouble the scorers in their respective last games. While Kohli failed to open his account against Sri Lanka, de Villiers scored his registered his first duck, a golden one at that, against Pakistan when the Proteas lost by 19 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Kohli was spared the horror of scoring a golden duck and played out four deliveries before falling prey to Nuwan Pradeep off the fifth delivery.
Interestingly, this was de Villiers’s 221st game and the South Africa skipper had never been dismissed for a golden duck in an ODI game before that. Proteas coach Russell Domingo made light of the situation and said that he isn’t worried about the talisman’s form going into the crunch game.
"He's a quality player, everybody gets first-ballers, it's just taken him 200 games! I've got no concerns with AB de Villiers," he said.
"He did pick up a bit of a niggle with his hamstring but the medical team will have a look at it.
"But I'm expecting a big performance from him on Sunday. He's that type of player that when the team needs him he'll turn it up, I'm sure about that."
India will be under pressure in their make or break Champions Trophy clash with South Africa on Sunday. And skipper Kohli will look to lead from the front, having hit an unbeaten 81 against arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening game of the showpiece event at Edgbaston.