“The trick to play in England is to play as late as possible,” says former Indian skipper
Virat Kohli’s tactic of attempting to refute swing by meeting the ball early has blown up, feels the Indian legendary Sunil Gavaskar while he highlighted that Kohli had enjoyed success in England in 2018 as he looked to play the ball very late.
Virat Kohli’s tactic of attempting to refute swing by meeting the ball early has blown up, feels the Indian legendary Sunil Gavaskar, whose advice in English conditions has always been about playing as late as possible.
Kohli, who is now just four months away from the completion of three years without an international ton, scored 11 and 20 in the rescheduled fifth Test against England in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
“The trick to play in England is to play as late as possible. Then you are allowing the ball to do its bit and then you are playing the ball. From what little I saw in the highlights, it seemed Kohli was looking to reach for the ball, trying to play the ball early,”Gavaskar said on ‘Sports Today’.
He highlighted that Kohli had enjoyed success in England in 2018 as he looked to play the ball very late.
“Therefore, he was not looking like he was in 2018 when he was looking to play it very late around the off-stump.”
Gavaskar hopes the reason behind Kohli’s new approach could be the dunk in form and scarcity of runs in recent years. These are times when one will in general play each ball and it is frequently loaded with risk.
“This could be his issue because he hasn’t been among the runs. When you are not in form, you look to play almost every ball, and hit each one of them, in a bid to score runs. Maybe that’s something that can he looks at.”
However, Gavaskar feels Kohli is also running low on luck.
“But the first mistake he is making is turning out to be his last mistake. Maybe he is not having the run of luck at the moment. I think you plan a little bit, and visualize what the bowler is going to do the next day. Therefore, you can stay outside the crease but you can go with a pre-meditated plan of batting, which means the bowler has to bowl the same line you are expecting,”he said.
“If he doesn’t bowl in those lines, you are in trouble.”
Kohli had played on in the first innings off a Mathew Potts delivery, while in the second innings he was gotten at first off a difficult delivery from Ben Stokes that unexpectedly kicked up from length.
“Cricket is always about instinctive action. And while you are giving yourself just that extra bit of preparation by trying to understand the bowler’s strengths, at the end of the day, it’s an instinctive game,”Gavaskar added.