He is trying to play the ball early, says Gavaskar on Kohli’s latest batting failure

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli’s ploy of trying to negate swing by meeting the ball early has backfired, feels the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, whose advice in English conditions has always been about playing as late as possible.
Kohli, who is now just four months short of completing three years without an international ton, scored 11 and 20 in the recently concluded rescheduled Test against England that India lost by seven wickets.
“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 that Kohli was looking to reach for the ball, trying to play the ball early,” Gavaskar said on ‘Sports Today’.
Nine months after he relinquished T20I captaincy, Virat Kohli finds himself in a situation where he may have to fight hard to retain his place in the upcoming T20 World Cup in October. On Wednesday, BCCI picked an ODI team for three matches in West Indies and Kohli has been rested. His T20I future
He pointed out that Kohli had enjoyed success in England in 2018 as he looked to play the ball very late.
“Therefore, he was not looking like he was in 2018 when he was looking to play it very late around the off-stump.”
Gavaskar feels the reason behind Kohli’s new approach could be the dip in form and paucity of runs in recent years. These are times when one tends to play every ball and it is often fraught with danger.
“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.”

However, Gavaskar feels Kohli is also running low on luck.
“But the first mistake he is making is turning out to be his last mistake. Maybe he is not having the run of 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.
Kohli got caught behind in the first innings, in the second essay he was dismissed off an unplayable delivery from Ben Stokes that suddenly kicked up from length.
“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,” he added.



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