India captain tries hard to be positive over his off-form star; urges batters to stop poking at deliveries
Manchester: India's Virat Kohli arrived in England with a reputation as one of the world's most promising young batsmen, with a Test average of nearly 47. But the 25-year-old has struggled to make any sort of impact in this series with 108 runs in eight innings at an average of 13.50 and a meagre top score of 39.
India's Virat Kohli is felled by a delivery from England bowler Chris Woakes during the third Test at Southampton on July 29. Pic/Getty Images
However, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said working with India coach Duncan Fletcher, the former England boss, who is renowned for improving young batsmen, would see Kohli, caught in the slips off Anderson for just seven on Saturday, back in the runs again.
"He (Fletcher) has been helping Virat a lot and not only Virat, he has also been helping other batsmen," said Dhoni. "It is a lean period Virat has to go through.
It is bound to happen at sometime, if not now then six months down the line. He had a lovely two to three years scoring runs everywhere in all formats. So it's something he has to go through and it will only make him a better cricketer."
Dhoni urged his side to absorb the lessons of their crushing innings and 54-run defeat in the fourth Test against England at Old Trafford in time for Friday's finale at the Oval in London.
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While the tourists lost nine wickets after tea on Saturday's third day in being dismissed for 161 in just 43 overs, Stuart Broad was off the field with a broken nose suffered when he missed an intended hook off an Aaron bouncer. – 'Push bowlers to you' – "The first hour of this Test match was crucial," Dhoni told reporters.
"We all know this wicket (at Manchester) had slightly more bounce. But after that it got much better to bat on and there was something for the fast bowlers.
"Once you see off the first 20-25 overs, when the ball is hard and new, it gets relatively better for the batsmen to bat.
You just have to pull the bowler towards you rather than going outside off and looking for the big shot," added Dhoni in a reference to the way in which several India batsmen were dismissed as all talk of rain, which had cut short Friday's second day, forcing a draw was rendered irrelevant.
"If you can look to push them to bowl to you actually you can control the swing much better and you can play your strokes. That is something to an extent we lacked," he said.
"Hopefully we will learn from it out and move into the next one which I feel will be very important to us," added Dhoni, whose side have now won just one of their last 18 Tests on foreign soil.
The number of runs Virat Kohli has scored in eight innings of the series @ 13.50
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