Former Indian captain Kapil Dev has warned Virat Kohli from being over-aggressive, though he does feel that the Indian skipper will excel in England. He also stated that Rishabh Pant has turned into a mature player but the English conditions would be tricky and he should take his time in the middle.
Batting in England remains one of the biggest challenges in the world of cricket. It's never easy to counter the seaming conditions and when coupled with a quality bowling attack, runs turn harder to get by. When India takes on New Zealand in the World Test Champions finale, the team will greatly rely upon the ever consistent Virat Kohli.
The man who conquered the English conditions and showcased his mastery on some challenging wickets when India last toured England in 2018, with most of the other batters struggling to get going.
However, of late, Virat Kohli has failed to capitalize on his starts and get a big score under his belt. He has gone without a century in the longer format in the last seven games. Renowned cricket expert Kapil Dev still remains confident that the Indian skipper will excel, though he believes that Virat will need to choose his moments of dominance wisely.
“I expect him (Kohli) to excel. Can you really shackle him? He is a natural when it comes to adapting but I would caution him to not be over-aggressive. He will have to measure it session by session. He’ll be better off waiting for his moments of dominance. He will get his runs with a bit of patience,” Kapil Dev told mid-day.
He also warned Virat against trying too hard early on, as patience is a key virtue to success, more so, in England, where the ball swings and seams a fair bit.
“Trying too hard and too early doesn’t work in England where you need to watch the movement of the ball. If you play seam and swing well, show patience, you will succeed in England. We (in 1986) played exceptionally good cricket. I want this team to remember that England in England is tough. They are a very good team when playing at home but then, it will also depend on how the Indian bowlers adapt to the conditions and pitches. Swing will be very rewarding and here I feel England are one step ahead of India.”
One of the key factors for India in the WTC finale will be the batting of Rishabh Pant. He has been India's man-in-form this year and has made important contributions to India's wins. Kapil feels that Pant has grown a lot with time and has matured as a batsman, but given his range of shots, he will need to spend more time in the middle on some challenging English wickets.
“He (Pant) looks a very mature cricketer now from the time he came into the side. He seems to have far more time to play his shots and obviously his range of strokes is awesome. But England will be challenging. He must spend more time in the middle and not just look to hit every ball. We used to say the same about Rohit Sharma, who had so many shots, but would step out and get out so many times.
“Same is with Rishabh now. He is an exciting player and very valuable too. All I would tell him is take time before unfolding his range of shots. England is different.”
India will take on New Zealand in the WTC finale from June 18 in Southampton.