No one celebrates an opponents dismissal like Virat Kohli. Probably even more than the bowler, as admitted by a few of his team members on various occasions. And neither does he stop at any opportunity to praise, support or cheer his bowling attack with the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town witnessing another of those instance.
On the second afternoon of the deciding Test of the series, South Africa suffered a middle-order collapse. The partnership of Temba Bavuma and Keegan Petersen looked to threaten the Indian attack with their steady partnership. The aim was to bat through the second session and aim at taking the first innings lead, but Mohammed Shami played the wreaker-in-chief as he picked two wickets in just three balls before Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Marco Jansen at the stroke of Tea.
Bavuma departed first as Kohli completed the dismissal with a low catch at slip. It was his 100th catch in Test cricket. Two deliveries later, wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne edged one to Rishabh Pant. Elated at India’s comeback in the back, Kohli urged the Indian dugout to get behind the team, shouting “Keep clapping boys” and the players obliged to it, clapping in unique synchronised manner.
While it was the first of its kind noticed at the Indian dugout, this unique act was earlier used by the Saurashtra team during the 2018/19 tournament.
“It started a couple of years back,” Jaydev Unadkat told ESPNcricinfo. “In a Ranji Trophy game, there aren’t that many spectators in all the games. So you need to create that atmosphere where you feel good about yourself and you back your bowlers really well. I think it’s something that gets us in our zone, which is really good. For a team to have a routine and get into that zone is something I love personally as well. If I’m bowling, and they start clapping and that atmosphere comes up, I really get that punch. And it’s the same with everyone.
South Africa was eventually folded for 210, 14 runs short of taking a first-innings lead, with Petersen’s 166-ball 72 the stand-out knock for the hosts.