Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that James Anderson’s dismissal of Virat Kohli was off a regulation ball on Day 2 of the first Test at Trent Bridge. On Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal, however, he praised the bowler’s skills while lamenting the batsman’s misfortune in recent times.
After the horrors of the 2014 English summer, where he managed mere 134 runs from 10 innings, Virat Kohli showcased a staggering fortitude in 2018 to stamp his authority as a modern great. The right-hander had amassed 593 runs in a series that saw no other batsman cross 350. The highlight on both the tours was his gripping battle against James Anderson. In 2014, Anderson dismissed Kohli on four occasions, testing him in the corridor of uncertainty to draw the outside edge. Kohli won the battle four years later, never to be dismissed once off the veteran.
On Thursday, August 5, however, the much-awaited face-off could last just one ball, as the speedster had the Indian skipper caught behind for a golden duck. Anderson went full outside the off-stump to draw Kohli into the forward push. The batter obliged, playing away from the body with a slightly angled bat, only to find an outside edge that flew through to Jos Buttler.
This was right after Cheteshwar Pujara had been dismissed off a peach - a pitched up delivery angling in which moved away late, drawing an outside edge through to the keeper. Aakash Chopra believed that the successive blows were a major turning point in the game while adding that there wasn’t too much special about the ball that got rid of Kohli.
“In 2018, Virat Kohli was not dismissed by Anderson even once. He was leaving balls outside the off-stump but this time he nicked the first delivery behind the stumps to make it two wickets in two balls for Anderson. The wickets of Pujara and Kohli changed the game completely. Both wicket-taking balls were really good. But the ball that got Kohli out was a regulation Test match delivery," Chopra said, as reported by Times Now.
On Pujara’s dismissal, however, Chopra praised the bowler, further adding that India’s number 3 has been on the receiving end of far too many good deliveries in recent times.
“James Anderson sent back Cheteshwar Pujara with a very good delivery. There is no shame in getting out to good deliveries but the problem here is that Pujara is getting too many of them. That is something that will be playing on his mind," he added.
"Questions like - why is this happening with me? Am I allowing the good balls to happen or is there something like I am just unfortunate? That is the question that Pujara has to answer.”