Kolkata: The worrying form of Indian skipper Virat Kohli continued to be a talking point after he fell cheaply in the first innings of the third Test against England at Headingley - even as the visitors’ top order floundered in overcast conditions to be all out for an embarrassing 78 in the first innings. Kohli’s sequence of scores in the ongoing series so far is 0, 42,20 and seven.
While the legion of Kohli fans are hoping that he can relive of some of the memories of the prolific form of the 2018 tour to end the drought of centuries, but the manner of master batsman’s dismissal to James Anderson showed the telltale signs of a batsman searching for form - raking up memories of his England tour of 2014. An excellent judge of where his off stump is at the best of times, Kohli seemed to shuffle too much across the line of stumps and ended edging a delivery on the channel to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler as he attempted a drive.
This is the seventh time in 23 Tests Anderson has scalped Kohli in Test match cricket. The England pacer has now joined Australia spinner Nathan Lyon as the bowler to dismiss Kohli the most number of times in Tests.
“He should give a quick call to SRT (Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar) and ask what should I do?,” Sunil Gavaskar said on air on Wednesday. “[He should] Do what Sachin Tendulkar did at Sydney. Say to himself that I am not going to play the cover drive,” added Gavaskar.
The former India opener and captain, who was the first reach 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, said that Kohli chasing deliveries outside the off-stump is worrying.
“That is a bit of a worry for me, because he is getting dismissed at the fifth, sixth and even seventh stump. In 2014, he was getting out more around the off-stump,” added Gavaskar while pointing to the fact that he is being drawn into playing outside the off-stump.
Tendulkar had famously played a very patient knock during the fourth Test of the 2003-04 series against Australia in Sydney. He curbed his instincts and did not play cover drive during his 613-minute and 436-ball stay and went on to score unbeaten 241. India amassed 705/7 declared and had Australia under the cosh before the home team managed to survive and enforce a draw.
‘‘Credit to bowlers, Indian batters lacked focus in morning session,’’ remarked former Indian pace ace Zaheer Khan during a chat with Cricbuzz - and he was not alone in laying into the Indian batsmen.