Former Indian spinner Maninder Singh has stated that Virat Kohli is repeating his mistakes from the 2014 tour of England, which has costed him dearly in the series. He added that the Indian skipper will need to follow what he preaches and should spend time in the middle like the last England tour.
One of the leading batsmen in the world, Virat Kohli is going through a lean patch with the bat. His struggles continued in the ongoing third Test against England after James Anderson exploited his vulnerability on the off-stump channel to send him back early. It has been poor series for the right-hander with the bat, as he has accumulated 69 runs in four innings at 17.25 thus far.
Pretty much on the lines of the 2014 tour in England, Kohli has been found wanting outside the off-stump. The poor form of Kohli, alongside that of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, has been a cause of concern for quite some time.
After Kohli's poor show on Day 1 in Leeds, former Indian spinner Maninder Singh remarked that the Indian skipper is repeating his mistakes from the 2014 tour of the UK and has got to understand that the English pitches aren't the same as the flat Indian decks.
“Virat Kohli is basically making the same mistakes that he was making on his first tour of England. He is playing away from the body. It could happen to you if you are not playing regular cricket. These are not flat Indian pitches, where you can just put your foot forward and start driving. He got out a couple of times the same way as you did in 2014, when he just got a 138 runs in 10 innings. I think things start coming back - am I playing the wrong line? Should I be leaving these balls?," Maninder Singh said during a discussion on ESPN Cricinfo.
Ahead of the third Test, Virat Kohli had emphasized on the need for the batters to keep their ego aside to bat well in seam-friendly England conditions. Reflecting on his statement, the former left-arm spinner asserted that Kohli has to practice what he preaches.
"And what Kohli preached, he will have to practice. Keep your ego in your pocket. Before the Test match, Virat Kohli had said that in these English conditions you’ve got to keep your ego in your pocket. And I think that is absolutely right. If he tries to dominate, like Virat Kohli usually does, these are not the pitches where he can bat like that."
Kohli's batting in the ongoing series has been a complete contrast from the 2018 series in England, where he had emerged as the best batter from either side - showing ample patience and confidence. Maninder further added that he has to spend time in the middle like he had done last time around.
"He needs to spend some time there, like he did on the previous tour where he scored almost 600 runs. Once you know the pace and know how much the ball is seaming around, they you can carry on playing your shots," he said.
In India's first innings, most of the specialist batters were guilty of throwing away their wickets with their poor shot selection. Maninder remarked that the Indian batting unit lacked the required patience on the off-stump line and that cost them big time.
"All these Indian boys, in the first two Tests, they were leaving balls outside the off stump. I don’t know that happened in this Test match. They were wanting to play at it and paid the price for it. With Virat Kohli, he is going through a bad patch," he signed off.