The buzz surrounding around India’s five-Test series against England is pretty much deafening. Cricket fans are eagerly waiting to see the No.1 Test side getting tested on typical English pitches.
Besides, everyone is keen to witness the showdown between England bowlers and Virat Kohli, who is yet to prove his mettle 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.
However, former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin feels Kohli’s game has improved by many folds in the last four years and it will be different ball game altogether on this occasion.
“At that time, it was his first tour... now he has got so many runs behind him and I think will perform wonderfully well,” Azharuddin told AFP.
“He has led India in so many Test matches so I don't think he will have any pressure now as far as leadership is concerned,” he added.
During the 2014 England tour, Anderson was Kohli’s biggest nemesis, dismissing him 4 times in 10 innings. Overall, Anderson has taken Virat’s wicket five times in Tests going back to 2012. However, Kohli turned the table during the 2016 Test series at home as he dominated Anderson and England by scoring 655 runs in 5 Tests at an average of 109.16.
Recently, Anderson asserted that Kohli must be lying if he says his “individual form doesn’t matter” in the blockbuster Test series, scheduled to commence on August 1 at Edgbaston.
"It doesn't matter if he gets runs or not? I think he is telling lies there," Anderson told PTI earlier this week.
At the start of the England tour, Kohli had stated that he aims to enjoy his time rather than thinking about his individual form as long as India wins.
Azharuddin endorsed Kohli's opinion that the team's performance is more important. “Cricket is not a game of one individual. It doesn't work like that. Everybody has to score runs one person can't win you a game,” he said.
“If the ball is seaming, batsmen in both teams will struggle. But having said that, India have a great chance of winning in England this time,” Azharuddin concluded.