Sanjay Manjrekar has stated that Virat Kohli, unlike other greats of the game, has got an obvious weakness that gets exploited. Kohli could last just 17 balls, scoring 7, on Day 1 of the third England-India Test at Headingley, falling to James Anderson for the seventh time in the format.
Virat Kohli was exposed once again in English conditions and in front of the moving ball pitched outside the off-stump as James Anderson dismissed him for the seventh time in Test cricket on Wednesday.
The star batsman has now gone 50 innings without an international hundred. Kohli's form in 2021 in England has been a stark contrast to his exploits in 2018. The 32-year-old overcame the horrors of 2014 to hit 593 runs, including two hundreds in five Tests. However, this year, the number fifth ranked batsman in the world has managed only 69 runs in five innings so far.
Following Kohli's yet another failure on the opening day of the third Test against England in Leeds, former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has minced no words in declaring that unlike other legends of the game, Virat Kohli has an "obvious weakness", adding that it very often "gets exploited".
"Unlike so many greats of his league, he (Kohli) has got a very obvious weakness. All the greats, the Tendulkars, the Gavaskars and the Viv Richards, didn't have one obvious weakness. Every time that gets exploited, Virat Kohli gets found out," Manjrekar told Sony Sports after India were bundled out for 78 on Day 1 of the Headingley Test.
"It's not that he is getting out in different ways like Ajinkya Rahane does. I am sure it's starting to bother him," Manjrekar added.
Is Kohli as fresh mentally as he was in 2018?
Further, the former batsman pointed out that Kohli, against his hallmark style left the balls beautifully in 2018 and therefore succeeded in burying the ghosts of 2014 tour in which he managed just 134 runs from 10 innings. However, such has not been the case this time around and that he left Manjrekar wondering about the mental freshness of the talismanic cricketer.
"The reason he got those runs in 2018 was not because he was cover-driving beautifully or pulling it superbly like he was in Australia against Mitchell Johnson. It was all about leaving the ball, which was about doing something he was not accustomed to. It requires a lot of mental effort.
"I am just starting to feel that maybe the mental reserves that he has is he as fresh mentally as he was in 2018 with that big challenge of seeing James Anderson through and leaving balls after balls? He is not leaving as many balls this time," Manjrekar added.
England bowled out England for 78 runs in the first innings and then ended the Day 1 on 120/0.