There’s no doubt in the truth that Kohli has tried to adapt his technique. After repeatedly falling prey to the outside off delivery, Kohli, in the second innings of the third test, left most of those deliveries. That was a huge improvement in his gameplay and it reflected in his score. Due to the new strategy, Kohli scored his first fifty of the tour.
Kohli looked set after reaching the fifty by playing a brilliant flick shot through the mid-wicket. Indian fans’ hope of watching Kohli reach his 71st century looked as if it would come true. But alas, that Kohli was back. The Kohli tried to play those deliveries that must be left. In the 90th over, Robinson bowled a delivery that was outside off and straightening. Since the ball was angled in, Kohli went for the defense and edged it to the first slip’s left.
There was a systematic buildup though to Kohli’s wicket. He was struggling to play Anderson a few overs before. Then, in the over where he lost his wicket, he had already played those balls which he must have left.
What Zaheer Khan has to say
Zaheer Khan rightly said over Kohli’s wicket, “When a batsman is batting on 40 something, his natural instinct kicks in. That batsman tries to play more shots. And Kohli is that kind of batsman who likes to dominate the game. So, Kohli was trying to play attacking cricket. Just like Pujara was playing a day before. That’s why, Kohli was trying to back his natural instinct, his natural game.”
The 42-year-old then came to the technical aspect of Virat’s game, saying, “For any batsman, the more you play a shot away from the body, the more difficulties it causes. The more likely you are to edge the ball. Kohli was also lucky on some of Anderson’s deliveries. He was even declared out on one delivery(which Kohli successfully overturned with DRS).”
The former Indian pacer added, “This battle will continue throughout the series now. Because English bowlers know Kohli’s weakness. They have even announced that they will keep targeting that weak zone of Kohli. They will keep tempting Kohli to go for a shot to a ball that must be left, they will keep testing Kohli’s patience.”
Kohli was furious with himself yet again after edging the ball. He tried shadow-practicing the shot he was playing. But it was too late till then.
It will be very interesting to see how Kohli changes his game for the next match. If he can control his natural instinct of attacking and be more patient. And whether the English bowlers’ same strategy is successful yet again.