Former India batting coach highlights faults in Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s batting
Indian batsmen have been struggling in the seaming conditions in New Zealand. In the two Tests, Indian batsmen have failed to breach the 300-run mark in three innings while they are on 90/6 in the second innings of the second Test. Both Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have been the rocks of the middle order for India in the longest format of the game but weren’t able to get going against the Kiwis pacers.
Kohli had his second-worst Test series after managing just 38 runs in four innings while Rahane’s patchy display in the second Test garnered some criticism. Rahane scored 9 runs off 43 balls while Kohli hit 14 off 30 as Indian batters again struggled to handle the might of Boult, Jamieson, Wagner and Southee.
Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar was also not happy with the way Rahane and Kohli applied themselves in their innings and talked about the faults in their approach during the post-match show.
‘I am surprised to see Ajinkya Rahane play the way that he did. He was playing into the trap that New Zealand had set for him. All the field positions were also indicative of the fact that they will pepper him with short stuff. The need of the hour was to be defensive. He should have let a few balls go or duck under a few short balls. You expect a player with such high experience to show more application. I am sure Rahane will be very disappointed with his innings,’ said Bangar.
Bangar also explained that Kohli usually takes guard between middle stump and leg stump but in New Zealand he was covering all his stumps. So as a result, according to Bangar, Kohli was always falling over and his point of contact of the eye was outside the off stump.Bangar maintained that the guard left little or no space for Kohli to manoeuvre the ball coming in to him.
Kohli has been put under tremendous pressure by the Kiwi seamers and has now recorded his second-worst figures in a Test series (min 2 matches). Kohli has scored only 38 runs in four innings in New Zealand. Kohli has an average of just 9.50 in the series, which is the 2nd lowest for him in a series. Virat’s worst is of 9.20 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy of 2016-17 in India.
Things are so bad for the Indian skipper in New Zealand that even Mohammad Shami (39) has scored more runs than him. The last time Kohli went 4 or more consecutive innings without any fifty was in 2017.
He was dismissed by Colin de Grandhomme in second innings of the 2nd Test when he misjudged the line of the delivery and was struck plumb in front of the stumps. De Grandhomme has now become the 6th new bowler in this season of 2019-20, who has dismissed Kohli in Tests.