When Virat Kohli was angry at a journalist during India tour of England in 2018. Photograph:( Reuters )
India vs England: Amid criticism from all corners, Ashish Nehra has backed Virat Kohli and feels the Indian captain doesn't need to change his technique overnight to be among runs once again.
There has been criticism for Indian captain Virat Kohli from all corners due to his struggles in the ongoing India-England Tests, in the United Kingdom. So far, Kohli has scores of 0, DNB, 42, 20, 7 and 55. While he did score a half-century in the final innings of the third Test, where India lost by an innings and 76 runs, the 32-year-old didn't look at his very best versus the second new ball on Day 4.
Kohli was troubled by the likes of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson as the former remains unsure of how to deal with the ball when pitched on the fourth-fifth stump-line. Ahead of the fourth and penultimate Test, which begins from September 2 at Kennington Oval, London, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has come forward and supported Kohli.
Speaking to reporters in a media interaction organised by Sony, Nehra opined, "First things first, somebody like Virat Kohli, he knows his game, that’s why he is here. He has been successful in the same conditions. Everybody knows when you talk about English conditions; they are not easy. You just spoke about Sunil Gavaskar (urging Kohli to learn from Tendulkar and avoid the shot that is getting him out every time)."
Taking cognisance of recent Kohli's struggles, Little Master Sunil Gavaskar had suggested that the Indian skipper should take notes from Sachin Tendulkar and have a quick chat with him. "Yes, if somebody like Virat Kohli feels he needs to do that, I am sure, he will definitely try to do that. But here, you also correctly mentioned that Virat Kohli got out in the slips, but not while driving all the time. He also got out defending. So it’s not like the ball is not there to drive, yet he is going for a cover drive,” Nehra added.
"Our bowlers also did that in one game. But I don’t think Virat Kohli needs to change his technique overnight. In between a series, it is more about adjustment of your game and being mentally ready. Don’t think there is any problem with Virat Kohli when it comes to mental toughness," he concluded.
Kohli's struggles, however, has been a long one. His last international ton came in late 2019. He averaged only 19.33 in Tests in 2020 whereas currently he averages 27.15 in the format in the ongoing calendar year. The Indian captain will be desperate to score a daddy hundred in the remaining two games and lead India to a series win over England in their own backyard.