Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan stressed the importance of swing bowling, saying that Virat Kohli would be more in doubt while facing someone like James Anderson, who swings the ball rather than Mitchell Johnson, who bowled fast.
During Virat Kohli’s first tour to the UK, ‘Swing King’ of England James Anderson was all over Virat Kohli, dismissing the right-hander on four occasions as Kohli scored just 135 runs at an average of 13.40 in five Tests.
However, during India’s last tour to England in 2018, the Indian skipper had a fantastic outing with the bat and replied to all the critics in style amassing 593 runs from 10 innings at an average of 59.30.
With Team India set to face England in the five-Test series, starting 4th August, Virat Kohli would once again face up against James Anderson.
Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship and five-Test series against England, Irfan Pathan emphasised the impact of swing bowling in his column for Playfield Magazine.
Pathan cited the example of Virat Kohli, saying that although he might adjust against the express pace of Mitchell Johnson, he knows he will need to be more careful against James Anderson because of his skills in swinging the ball.
“You ask Virat Kohli, he will never worry about Mitchell Johnson bowling fast because he knows he can come in line, but he will always have doubts about James Anderson. No batsman in the world is comfortable when the ball is moving. The corridor of uncertainty, remember? It will remain open forever,” Irfan Pathan wrote in his column for the Playfield Magazine.
Irfan Pathan while citing the example of Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler, who play lap shots and reverse sweeps, further wrote that batsmen no longer fear pace these days. He added that batsmen need the skill to survive swing bowlers because they can still be threatening.
“We have seen Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler playing lap shots and reverse sweeps to Pat Cummins and Jofra Archer. Speed alone cannot guarantee success, because batsmen no longer fear pace.
“The equipment is so good and bats have become better, one touch and it’s out of the ground feeding off the pace of the ball. You need the skill to survive, and trust me, the swing is a great skill,” he said.
Team India would be hoping that their skipper Virat Kohli to replicate his form from the last England tour if they have to fancy their chances of winning the WTC final and five-Test series against England.
(Playfield Magazine inputs)