'Virat was exceptional, his shot selection impressive': Geoffrey Boycott wants England to learn from India captain

  • India vs England: Boycott said England can look to no further than Virat Kohli, who played a masterclass in India's second innings on a spinning surface.
Virat Kohli scored a splendid 62 in India's second innings. (BCCI)
Virat Kohli scored a splendid 62 in India's second innings. (BCCI)
Updated on Feb 18, 2021 12:44 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Following England batsmen's inability to tackle spin in the second Test against India at Chepauk, former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has urged the players to learn and adapt to such spin-friendly surfaced. Boycott said England can look to no further than Virat Kohli, who played a masterclass in India's second innings while the rest of the batsmen - except R Ashwin - struggled.

England were bowled out for 134 and 160 in Chennai with R Ashwin picking up eight wickets in the match – including a five-for in the first innings – and Axar Patel registering his maiden five-for his in debut Test. In fact, in the second innings, all England wickets fell to spin, but where the English batsmen struggled, Kohli batted with class and panache on the same surface to score a masterful half-century, an innings that can almost be called a batting lesson on how to play spin.

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"He used the odd sweep shot but stuck to the basics and batted superbly. Virat defended with determination, his footwork was superb and at all times he was careful and watchful. His judgement of length was exceptional and his shot execution equally impressive. He showed that it is possible to bat properly," Boycott mentioned in his column on The Daily Telegraph.

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England were very impressive with their batting in the first Test, where too there was assistance for the spinners. They employed the sweep shot to good effect, but the same ploy did not work in the second Test, whereas Kohli and Ashwin thrived batting on the pitch with the latter going on to score a century. Boycott added that Indian pitches assisting spinners is nothing new, calling the criticism directed at the Chennai pitch was unjustified.

"The great thing about Indian pitches is that they are not fast. You have time to adjust and pick your shots. Nothing in the laws of cricket says the pitch should be flat for batsmen. Every pitch in India spins. It is just a question of when and how much it turns," Boycott mentioned.

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Monday, January 24, 2022