Former India Cricketer and legendary Sunil Gavaskar has said that he is mighty impressed by the methods that India's best batsman Virat Kohli has employed in order to score runs in England. Having struggled his way to just 134 runs across 10 innings during the last tour in 2014, Virat has made a fantastic transition and is highest run-getter of the series so far, with his gritty and defiant knocks of 149 and 51 in the first Test at Edgbaston standing out.
Sunil Gavaskar talked about Virat's game and was quoted saying, “It’s brilliant! The adjustment that he’s made in his bat speed. In 2014, he was feeling for deliveries outside the off-stump. Now he’s waiting for the ball to come, not pushing at the ball as much. At the start, he does. But that happens with everyone,”
The great man who knows a thing or two about scoring tough Test match runs, further added, “The way he’s made that adjustment, mental adjustment, that is brilliant, fantastic. And that is the reason why he was able to get big runs. It’s just that little technical adjustment where he’s not pushing and playing close to the body,”
Gavaskar believes that even though batsmen need a lot of mental resolve in England but they also require substantial technical proficiency, especially in defense.
“It demands a lot more of your footwork, patience because the ball keeps moving off the surface, you will get the odd scoreable deliveries which you must capitalise on, but in conditions in England like it happened in Birmingham, you have to be more watchful.”, said Gavaskar and added, “We did not except such a thing because in June and July the weather was like you get in India. You can never be prepared for these kinds of conditions. For players from the sub-continent, it’s not very easy, which is why I keep saying one must play more red-ball cricket, because that gives you a little bit of idea. You may not get world class bowlers but at least you will be playing first-class bowlers,”
Although India are now 1-0 down, Gavaskar is optimistic of the team's chances of making a comeback in the five-match Test series.
He said, “Yes absolutely, they missed out on the opportunity in South Africa, but I do believe that they have the opportunity here because this is five-Test series and you can always comeback, even if you are 2 down, you can still come back. It’s been known to happen.” and added, “India has been traditionally slow starters overseas, in the third Test we came back (in South Africa), but if it has been a five-Test series, we could have won fourth and fifth as well. So that is the big plus as this tour is concerned, that the Indian team will get an opportunity to come back and maybe win this series,”
“Basically, the batsmen have to make some runs. The bowlers are taking 20 wickets; they did that in South Africa as well where they got 60 wickets. Batsmen, even in small totals, were not able to make those runs. But that’s not an Indian situation,”
(Inputs from Indian Express)