IND vs ENG 2022 | Virat Kohli playing the ball early caused his failure, explains Sunil Gavaskar
Virat Kohli has been going through a lean patch lately|
Sunil Gavaskar picked out Virat Kohli’s approach of trying to play the ball early in Edgbaston in order to eliminate the swing factor as faulty, stating a late approach bodes better when playing in England. He went on to discuss Kohli’s lack of luck and the role of instinct in cricket.
Virat Kohli’s poor run of form continued in the final Test at Edgbaston which concluded on Tuesday. The Indian stalwart managed a paltry 31 runs across two innings, extending his search for an international century to 32 months now.
Having struggled against the moving ball in the 2021 leg of the tour, especially those delivered by James Anderson, Kohli was distinctively attempting to meet the ball as early as possible in Edgbaston. However, his approach was deemed flawed by Sunil Gavaskar. The prolific opener believes one has to allow the ball to move around in England in order to play it successfully.
"The trick to play in England is to play as late as possible. Then you are allowing the ball to do its bit and then you are playing the ball. From what little I saw in the highlights, it seemed Kohli was looking to reach for the ball, trying to play the ball early," Gavaskar said on 'Sports Today'.
Kohli’s glaring weakness of late has been a tendency to reach for balls outside the off stump, ending up edging them to the slip cordon. According to Gavaskar, this could be a consequence of the lack of runs over the past three years.
"This could possibly be his issue because he hasn't been among the runs. When you are not in form, you look to play almost every ball, hit each one of them, in a bid to score runs. Maybe that's something that he can look at," he opined.
The 28-year-old’s poor form has coincided with many unlucky instances as well, with his frequency of edges much higher than previous averages. Acknowledging the luck factor, Gavaskar explained how a limited approach can only take a batsman so far if his instincts are not upto the mark.
"But the first mistake he is making is turning out to be his last mistake. Maybe he is not having the run of the luck at the moment. I think you obviously plan a little bit, visualise what the bowler is going to do the next day. Therefore, you can stay outside the crease but you can go with a pre-meditated plan of batting, which means the bowler has to bowl the same line you are expecting. If he doesn't bowl in those lines, you are in trouble," the opener observed.
"Cricket is always about instinctive action. And while you are giving yourself just that extra bit of preparation by trying to understand the bowler's strengths, at the end of the day, it's an instinctive game.”