We have plans for Virat Kohli, says England captain Eoin Morgan

England captain Eoin Morgan says that his team has special plans for his counterpart Virat Kohli. India captain struggled the last time India played a bilateral series against England in England.

cricket Updated: Jul 02, 2018 21:41 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Manchester
Virat Kohli,Eoin Morgan,India cricket team
England's Eoin Morgan during the press conference.(Reuters)

Nevermind his meagre returns in the last series here in 2014, Virat Kohli still evokes fear among the oppositions. Four years ago, his average in four ODIs was 18, yet England are not prepared to write him off. When they went to India in 2016-17, Kohli’s average was 61 plus in the ODIs; in the Champions Trophy in 2017 played in the same conditions here, the India captain got runs at 129.

Overall, he averages a phenomenal 58 in one-dayers and 48 in T20Is. When the England captain Eoin Morgan was asked whether there was a bigger challenge than bowling to Virat in world cricket, he preferred to offer a dead bat.

“That’s a very good question. I’m not sure I have the answer,” said Morgan, after hesitating for quite a while. To the follow-up query of “Do you any plans for him?”, he quipped “Yes”. “Can you tell us?” was met by: “No”.

Morgan is known to be a man who doesn’t like to give importance to the opposition, or was his just avoiding another controversy is anybody’s guess. In fact, the England captain expertly deflected all pointed questions related to the aspects where India would be challenged in the limited overs series. One of the eagerly awaited contests in the next six matches is going to be how the home team batsmen measure up to the Indian wrist spinners. Morgan was ready with his answer when the question on the challenge of facing Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav was put up.

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“Like everything, if you play against a side with good players, if you focus on one or two of them, say the spinners, it’s more than likely it’s the seamers who will actually go and get the wickets. It can have a completely different impact if you focus on two guys too much within a team. They are a strong side and have other components to their game, and very experienced domestic background. It’s going to be a difficult challenge,” said Morgan.

The only thing the home team skipper conceded was that the hot weather will aid spin. “The weather normally has a big impact on the pitch that’s produced. The grounds we go to in the T20 series normally take a bit (of spin) as well.”

“Generally it is a different challenge particularly when you play against subcontinent teams. It normally exposes sides like ourselves and South Africa and Australia to spin, reverse swing, different challenges to that we are normally used to. But we are in the middle of our summer and we have played a lot of cricket. Hopefuly, we will be able to deal with it.”

First Published: Jul 02, 2018 21:41 IST