Virat Kohli remains the man to beat in the ongoing India versus England Test series. The 28-year-old Test captain’s batting form and Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling has made the difference between winning and losing as India aim for their fifth straight Test series win.
Former England captain and respected commentator Nasser Hussain feels England haven’t done enough to control the marauding Kohli.
Replying to England’s first innings score of 400 all out, India were 146 for one at close of play on day 2 of the fourth Test at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara shared a century stand with a disciplined approach on a pitch that is well balanced.
Kohli will love this wicket and Hussain feels England must exploit the bouncer to silence the Indian captain, who at times has looked jittery under pressure.
“The one thing I’ve been surprised by is that England haven’t gone at him for a prolonged period with straight bouncers. It almost worked in Visakhapatnam, but Adil Rashid dropped him at fine leg off Ben Stokes,” Hussain wrote in his column in the Daily Mail. .
“So if there’s a bit of life in the Mumbai pitch, that will be one tactic they might go with. But early on, like every batsman who’s ever played the game, he can be vulnerable outside off stump. England should try to drag him across his stumps, then bring the occasional ball back into him, looking for a bowled or an LBW.
Easier said than done, though. Kohli has been in prime form and India’s batting mainstay with 405 runs till the end of the third Test in Mohali. With a hundred (167 not out in Visakhapatnam) and two fifties, Kohli is the leading batsman from either side.
Virat Kohli has smashed an English jinx
Kohli has broken his so called jinx against English bowlers. In the five-test series in England in 2014, he managed only 134 runs at an average of 13.4 with a highest score of 39. Before this series began, of his 13 Test centuries, only one came against England at Nagpur in 2012.
But the equation has changed this season. Hussain has praised Kohli’s approach during nets and impressed by his work ethics.
“He (Virat Kohli) left the ball immaculately outside off stump, then climbed into the bowling when they came straighter to him. He was batting as he would do in a game. It was exceptional to watch,” Hussain wrote after watching Kohli at the nets in Mohali.
Day 3 of the Mumbai Test on Saturday should see a good contest between No. 4 Kohli and the English bowlers. The ball is 52 overs old and it will need some effort to knock Kohli off his stride.