Aaqib Javed has highlighted what makes players like Babar Azam, Joe Root and Kane Williamson different from Virat Kohli, stating the latter's inferior technique has led to a major weakness in his game. He went on to opine on what the upcoming Asia Cup could hold for him and team India.
In recent years, the stock of Virat Kohli has declined drastically even as other members of the so-called 'fab four' have continued to rise up the ranks. Joe Root is enjoying his most prolific run in the international arena while Kane Williamson has led New Zealand to some outstanding achievements of late with the bat. The latest addition to the potential greatest of this era has been Babar Azam, who presently sits on top in the ICC batting rankings in both ODIs and T20s while just being a stone's throw away from conquering the all-format throne.
The pillar of these batsmen's success has been their technical excellence which helps them succeed in any condition. On the other hand, Kohli has recently struggled with his approach to the game as he has been frequently trapped by deliveries outside the off-stump. The 33-year-old's weakness was on full display in the recent tour of England when James Anderson and co. completely exploited him, restricting him to just 74 runs in six innings.
Former Pakistan pacer believes such shortcomings in the game lead to an extended string of low scores while players with good technique can always bounce back sooner. He went on to offer some advice to Virat that may help him return to form.
“There are two types of great players. One is players who, if they get stuck, their rough patch continues for a long time. The others are technically-sound players, whose rough patch cannot continue that long, like Babar Azam, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root. It is difficult to find their weakness. Kohli gets stuck at times with those deliveries outside off stump. James Anderson has targetted that a million times," he said on Paktv.tv.
"Last day I was watching him bat and I felt that he is now consciously trying not to play those deliveries from a distance. When you change your technique, these problems will surface. To come out of it, he can try playing a big knock without being conscious. That will help him sustain a purple patch for a long time,” he explained."
The Indian talisman is set to play in the upcoming Asia Cup beginning August 27 after nearly a two-month break from cricket. He is expected to take the place of Deepak Hooda in the lineup, who has impressed in Kohli's absence. The Men in Blue's campaign begins with an all-important clash against arch-rivals Pakistan as the side prepares to defend its title. Javed stated Kohli could make good use of the flat pitches in the United Arab Emirates as a catapult to regain some form.
“If Kohli doesn't perform, and India lose, they also face a similar situation like us. The questions tend to arise why didn't they play an in-form Deepak Hooda, suppose? But in UAE pitches, even out-of-form batters tend to find a rhythm."