Salman Butt stated that India needs a big hundred from Virat Kohli to stage a comeback in the ongoing five-match Test series against England. The former Pakistan skipper added that Kohli is lacking concentration in the series, which has caused him struggle to survive the tough conditions.
After claiming a 151-run victory against England at Lord’s, India failed to continue the good run in the third Test and lost the match against the hosts by an innings and 76 runs. The top-order fought very hard to avoid an innings defeat at Headingley, but the English bowlers outplayed the batsmen to clinch their first victory in the ongoing series. Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Virat Kohli contributed with half-centuries.
Kohli's 55 runs from 125 balls in the second innings at Headingley was his highest score of the series. He has now gone without an international hundred for 50 innings.
Former Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt reckoned that India needs a big hundred from Kohli to get back into the ongoing series. He added that the experienced players are yet to play the innings they are known for.
“India have to pull up their socks. Their experienced players are due for big knocks. On this tour, they haven’t done it so far. Unless that happens, India won’t be in a comfort zone. It will be important for Virat Kohli to score a big hundred. Rahane and Pujara have got the occasional scores but they haven’t played a big knock as such," he said.
Butt further stated that Kohli’s lack of concentration while batting makes him repeat the same mistakes continuously.
“When he was in form, Kohli was scoring hundred after hundred. Yes, his off-time has extended longer than expected but he has been aggressive as always. Kohli is looking good but somewhere he is lacking in concentration, which is why he is chasing at those balls outside off stump. It is not the case with Kohli usually. He has excellent concentration levels but in this series, he has been dismissed in a similar fashion every time.
“When he drives outside the off-stump or even defends, he plays a little away from his body. If he manages to play closer to the body and does so consistently, runs will be around the corner."
Butt lauded Rohit Sharma for his disciplined and well-calculated approach in the series, and stated the opener has the capability of scoring even bigger, which he has not done yet.
“Rohit Sharma has been looking great and has batted well. However, he has the capability of scoring 150-200, which he hasn’t done yet. Unless these senior players come up with big knocks, India will continue to struggle." he said.