Sunil Gavaskar reflected on Virat Kohli’s recurring mode of dismissal in the ongoing England-India Test series and singled out the shot selection as a major factor to his downfall. Kohli has managed just 124 runs from five innings so far, with his lone half-century coming in his most recent outing.
With a well compiled fifty in India’s second innings at Headingley, Kohli showed signs of rediscovering his best at a time when his team desperately needed it. However, as had been the case in each of his previous four outings, the right-hander found himself pushing at one from Ollie Robinson which perhaps, he shouldn’t have, only to find the fatal outside edge through to Joe Root at first slip.
The dismissal sparked an instant collapse, as India crumbled to 278 all-out before lunch to hand England a series-levelling win.
Sunil Gavaskar stated that Kohli should be mindful of his shot selection, while maintaining that the India skipper need not tinker too much with his technique, which has fetched him success in the past.
"I think it's the shot selection. You have got to keep it simple,” Gavaskar remarked during the post-match show on Sony Sports Network on Saturday, August 28. “He has got 8000 runs, probably the last 6,500 runs he has got standing outside the crease. So I don't think he needs to make too many changes. I think it's just the shot selection."
"At the moment, we talk about intent. There is an 'intent' question against Pujara. Here it seems the intent is to get runs. It means there are deliveries you're playing when you should be leaving those.
So it's basically again a question of shot selection. You don't have to play at those deliveries. If you leave those deliveries, it's not going to matter.”
Gavaskar, the first ever batsman to 10,000 Test runs, further examined the technical aspect, and conceded that there’s no harm in playing and missing in conditions challenging for batting.
“You still had a day to go and you were 140 runs behind the England team. If you have a look, these are deliveries on the 4th stump, there are no complaints. But there are deliveries at the 5th, 6th stump. These are deliveries he should not be playing.
"See how far from the body the bat is, that is what is getting him into trouble. He is reaching out. So it's hard hands stuff that is getting into trouble. I don't think standing outside the crease is a worry. If you play closer to your body, you play and miss it. There is no harm in playing and missing it."