Former India cricketer turned commentator WV Raman has remarked that Virat Kohli showed glimpses of returning to form in the second innings of the Headingley Test, where he scored a patient half-century. He believes that Kohli will be back to his best in the next two Tests.
Kohli has managed to score mere 124 runs from five innings in the ongoing series, including a half-century in his most recent outing. The India skipper has not scored a century in international cricket for more than 50 outings now.
He looked assured during his 55-run knock in India’s second innings at Headingley, before finding an outside edge to Ollie Robinson. WV Raman believes that India’s No. 4 will be back to his fluent best in the remaining two Tests.
“He did show shades of his old game and fluency in the last innings. I’m sure he will definitely do well in the next two Test matches,” Raman said in a virtual media interaction arranged by Sony Sports.
The former cricketer further added that Kohli should nudge other players to bring the best out of them, rather than taking all the responsibility on himself. He also stated that there’s a lot of pressure on the India captain everytime he walks out, much similar to what it was with Sachin Tendulkar.
“If I was Virat’s coach, I would tell him: ‘Virat, enough of this leading from the front. Just try and nudge the others from behind and get them to do what they can deliver. I’m sure you’ll be back at your best in no time,’” Raman said.
“See we cannot really fault him,” he continued. “What can generally be the norm in life and other spheres might not apply in cricket always. I mean, what has happened is, there is a lot of pressure on Virat himself. We pay a lot of attention to everything he does. We know he is one of the best batsmen so we expect a lot from him.
“It’s similar to how it was with Sachin Tendulkar when he was playing. Even 95 was considered a failure.”
Raman also spoke of the out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane, and suggested that India’s No.5 needs to figure out the right approach while batting.
“Perhaps you can take a leaf out of the approach of KL Rahul in Nottingham,” he said. “He was playing very close, coming down the track, looking to leave as much as he wanted to play, which is good batting. He also executed what was expected of him. It also gave confidence to the dressing room that this is something that can be done. So perhaps it’s a case of each batter working out on an approach that will help him overcome the conditions.
“Rahane is experienced, has played international cricket and also got runs abroad. It’s just that he has to work on his approach and method to succeed.”