Southampton: Virat Kohli arrived at the crease with intent yesterday.
A dejected Virat Kohli walks back to the pavilion after being out for 39 yesterday. Pic/AFP
He crossed the departing batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara a good 15 yards inside the boundary ropes, and the first five balls he faced were left alone.
The sixth ball was back of length, on line of the seventh stump, and would have sailed over the wickets by at least a few inches.
It was a ball that South Africans delivered over after over on the first day on a spicy Johannesburg pitch last year, only to see the Indian batsmen shoulder arms. And nobody negated this plan better than Kohli as he went on to score 119 and 96 in that Test.
Yesterday, Kohli hopped back on his toes and poked it down to backward point. It was a sign that he was slightly anxious and wanted to get a feel of the ball. Thereafter, he received quite a few of those deliveries and kept poking at them.
Fails yet again
While Kohli's head position and stance were perfect, it was his hands that were still following the ball. Only a few balls before his departure he took a wild swipe at a ball that the English having been targeting him with.
It resulted in a boundary but it wasn't long before James Anderson had him caught by Alastair Cook at first slip.
Kohli, yet again, failed to capitalise on a decent start, but the good news for him is that the dismissals are not technical blemishes, but require mental adjustments.
India will be hoping he turns things around in a more relaxed manner the next time round.