Ind vs Eng: Struggling India batsmen can learn from how Virat Kohli batted
At Edgbaston, Virat Kohli showed how swing can be tackled by stretching forward and making an impact with the ball right under his eyes
On the morning of the third day, The Guardian newspaper published a photograph of Virat Kohli displaying textbook defence from side-on. The photograph summed up the artistry of the India captain and why he had succeeded while the rest struggled to combat the swinging ball.
In the picture, Kohli was stretched forward, his head and weight perfectly over his knee, but the most striking part was that he made an impact with the ball right under his eyes. Analyse the other Indian batsmen from side-on and the front foot strides are evident, but their hands are well past the knees as they attempt to throw their hands at the ball. It is not something the Indian batsmen didn't practice before the match. Head coach Ravi Shastri stood outside the nets, in line with the batting crease and observed the impact points with great precision. The technique has been understood, but for the majority of the Indian batsmen, they are struggling to control their natural instincts.
Interestingly, each of the top order batsmen for India, apart from Kohli, were caught in the cordon at least once at Edgbaston. The uncertainty around the off-stump and their keenness to push hard at the ball proved to be their downfall. Each batsman devised the plan of standing outside the crease and getting as far forward as possible. The problem is that they are planting their foot far too early and have to adjust. Instead, they should take a leaf out of Kohli's book by making a small trigger movement on to the front toe having a small press with the front foot as the ball is delivered and then take the stride.
It is tough to master and it requires will. However, as the leader, Kohli has shown, it can be tackled with guts and a strong mindset. Some of the Indian batsmen were already in the nets after the Test concluded on Saturday and there seems to be no doubt that they will be desperate to follow the method that worked so effectively for their captain.
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