South Africa speedster Dale Steyn has backed Virat Kohli to come out with flying colours in the upcoming five-Test series against England, scheduled to start on August 1 at Edgbaston.
Despite boasting a remarkable record all over the world, Virat hasn’t been able to perform at his best in red-ball cricket on English soil. With just 134 runs in five Test matches at a dismal average of 13.40, doing well in England is a top priority for the Indian captain.
"Virat will do fine. He is a determined player. When people write him off, that's the biggest mistake. When you write Virat off, he will come back and bite you where you don't want to be bitten. So he will be fine in England," Steyn told India Today.
Kohli has not fielded the same playing XI in Tests through his captaincy stint. And Steyn predicts Virat to go for the win in England.
"As long as Virat is there, he is a master and knows what to get out of his players. He is quite an aggressive captain and he likes to win. So he will pick teams to win Test matches," he added.
Having gone unsold at the IPL auction in January 2018, India's seasoned Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara had opted to play in the English County Championship for Yorkshire. Steyn, playing for Hampshire, faced off against Pujara a few times in the current county season. And he thinks Pujara doesn’t have any technical worries to address.
"Pujara looked good when I played against him. I got him out twice but he got a 50 too. (one day game) He knuckled down and got his runs. I think he is fine," Steyn opined.
"I don't know the Indian team that well currently. But Pujara has been a rock for them for a long time. He can bat for long periods of time and accumulate runs. And they have someone like KL Rahul who is exciting and can get runs quickly but he doesn't have the same experience and patience," he further remarked.
Unlike in the past, India are heading into the much-awaited five-match Test series after playing the limited-overs series. Lord’s will host the second Test while Trent Bridge, Rose Bowl and The Oval will stage the third, fourth and fifth Test respectively.
India squad for first three Tests against England:
Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami