'Get Kohli out and you'll become the most-hated cricketer. Experienced it bowling to Sachin Tendulkar': Australia bowler
Picking up the prized wicket of Virat Kohli still remains the ultimate aim for any bowler, which is why if you are as Australian bowler playing the Test series against India, you can't help but prepare tactics against Kohli.
Picking up the prized wicket of Virat Kohli still remains the ultimate aim for any bowler. Some have achieved this distinction in world cricket on several occasions such as James Anderson, Moeen Ali and Adam Zampa while others not so much. Irrespective of the kind of form he is in, every team wants to see the back of Kohli, as quickly as possible. And now that Kohli is back in form, the threat is even bigger and the challenge of dismissing him for a low score stiffer.
Kohli has already scored a T20I century, and three ODI hundreds in the last six months, and at this rate, it is only a matter of time before the former India captain rediscovers his touch in Test matches as well. In the last three Tests that he has played – two against Bangladesh and one now against Australia – Kohli has put up scores of 1, 19, 24, 1 and 12, and while these may not be excellent numbers by any stretch of the imagination, the belief is that before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy concludes, he would have changed this trivia and in some style.
Which is why if you are Nathan Lyon, you can't help but prepare tactics against Kohli. Sharing his thoughts on bowling to the quintessential batting superstar of Team India, the Australia senior-most feels any success against the former captain, especially in India, turns you into a villain in world cricket in no time. However, Lyon added that he now used to experience having bowled to Sachin Tendulkar in the past.
"Coming up against Virat Kohli it feels like you've got the nation against you. If you've got little bit of success and get Virat out or create a chance, you become the most hated cricketer in world cricket quite quickly. I've had a little bit of experience on that front bowling to Sachin Tendulkar a number of years ago now," Lyon noted during an interaction with Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Lyon, who has 461 Test scalps under his name, rates dismissing Tendulkar in Chennai in 2013 as one of his best wickets. He has spoke about the incident on many instances. "Bowling Sachin Tendulkar through the gate in Chennai was pretty cool," Lyon had told teammate Steve Smith in 7Cricket's 'Team Bonding' video back in 2020.
Lyon had then dismissed Tendulkar, who was batting in his 80s. He also touched on the crowd factor, during one of his previous interviews. "I was fortunate enough to throw out one in the rough and go through the gate. I felt like life stopped there for a moment. When I saw the bails go down, I did not know what to do. To silence the crowd like that was like pressing the mute button on TV. It was unbelievable and probably the best ball I have bowled in my Test career," Lyon had told Stuart MacGill a few years ago.
Meanwhile, Lyon holds equal respect for Kohli, calling him as the 'best challenge'. He was out cheaply, caught down the leg-side off the bowling of debutant Todd Murphy, but Lyon, who has had reasonable success against Kohli in the past, understands that you cannot afford to lose focus while bowling to the India great.
"Virat probably being one of the best in the world cricket for a long period of time, for him to constantly perform in high level. It's been a privilege to play against him and compete. I've always said that I want to compete against the best in the world and Virat probably has provided me with the best challenge," the Aussie spinner added.