There is one thing about Pieter Malan that 'everybody' who knows him is aware of - because he's told them repeatedly. In 2008, in what was Virat Kohli's biggest match in his life till then, he sliced Malan's slower one to point in the Under-19 World Cup final, and was out caught for 19.

India would still go on to beat South Africa by 12 runs in a rain-affected match, but Malan had a memory to cherish.

"I started my spell and he (Kohli) hit me over cover for a six," he remembers. "Then I took a bit of pace off and he got out at point, it was really a good catch. Now I tell everybody that I got him out. Everybody who knows me knows that I got him out. (laughs)

"We played him a couple of months before the World Cup, they had come to South Africa as part of their preparation before the World Cup. We could see [how good he was] even back then, specially the way he played against spin, I have never seen anyone play spin the way he did. He hit bowlers effortlessly, wherever he wanted to. I don't think we could have known how good he was going to become, but you could see that there was definitely something [special] there."

It might make for an even better after-dinner story than the fact that Malan is the eldest of three brothers who are all first-class players in South Africa, but have never played in the same side. Pieter will be 29 in a fortnight, Andre is 27 and the 22-year-old Janneman is the 'most talented' of the lot.

Back in 2008, Pieter was among the rising talents in the Under-19 side that had the likes of Wayne Parnell, Rilee Rossouw, JJ Smuts and Reeza Hendricks among future internationals. In a tri-nation one-day series before the Under-19 World Cup, Malan had hit 71 and 57 against India. Things went a bit pear-shaped thereafter, and Malan's expected rise never materialised. He was in a self-admittedly "dark place", but didn't give up on cricket. And though a national call-up is still distant, Malan has racked up 128 first-class games, to go with 84 List A appearances and 33 T20s.

Two consecutive seasons with more than 1,000 first-class runs have given Malan a spot in the South Africa A side that is touring India, and he began with 51 against the Board President's XI on Monday, sharing in an opening stand of 161 in Bangalore.

"After that World Cup, things came little bit easy for me. I sorted of expected it to just continue that way," Malan says. "But cricket tends to teach you some hard lessons if you take it too easy. I had to learn those lessons, work through it and become a better player than if that hadn't happened.

"It's taken hard work but I feel it's been worth it to get on this tour. Batting will never be a job for me, I love batting. It was dark times because you see that the guys you have played with go through the levels and you don't go through at the same pace, but then everyone is on their own journey. I think once you realise that and try to focus on how good you can become - and not on somebody that you maybe played Under-19 with is now playing for South Africa - once you figure that out, you just put your head down and work and hope that the right things will happen."

Amongst those 'right things' could be the fact that the three Malan brothers will finally all play for the same side. So far, Pieter has played only against Andre and Janneman. "They never got the opportunities in Pretoria, so they went to study in Potchefstroom," explains the oldest brother. "That's when they started playing for NorthWest. But now I've managed to get both of them to Cape Town. Hopefully from this season, we'll all play together. It's tough playing against them. You want them to do well, but you don't want them to beat you. You're not happy that they're out, but you're also not happy that they're beating you.

"I'd say the youngest (Janneman) is the most talented. He just seems to score runs easily. Andre has the talent, but hasn't got the opportunities that myself and the youngest have. But I've been told I'm the worst batsman in the family. My dad never played cricket. He left all the talent for us."

But while Pieter may well be the 'worst' batsman in the family, he can always have the bowling honours over his brothers because of his illustrious scalp a decade back. He hasn't bowled much, or met Kohli since, but if he does, he knows what he'll say. "If I had a chance I will definitely remind him of the dismissal," he smiles. "But he won't probably remember."