England vs India: Sunil Gavaskar on Virat Kohli’s troubles – He’s trying to play the ball early

Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar shed light on Virat Kohli’s issues in England, saying the former India captain has not been playing the deliveries late, unlike what he did in 2018.

Speaking to Sports Today, Sunil Gavaskar said Virat Kohli’s lean patch and his eagerness to get back to form have prompted him to reach for almost every ball and play at it.

Gavaskar’s comments came after Virat Kohli flopped not once but twice in the rescheduled 5th Test against England in Birmingham. Kohli managed just 31 runs across two innings and got caught behind and in the slip cordon in the two innings. The star batter got out to an unplayable delivery from Ben Stokes in the second innings as India went on to lose the fifth Test by 7 wickets.

Virat Kohli had struggled in 2021 as well as he finished the 5-match series with 249 runs, including 2 fifties while England star Joe Root amassed 737 runs, breaking the former’s record for most runs scored in a Test series between England and India.

“The trick to play in England is to play as late as possible. Then you are allowing the ball to its bit and then you are playing the ball. From what little I saw in the highlights, it seemed Kohli was looking to reach for the ball, trying to play the ball early,” Gavaskar said.

“Therefore, he was not looking like he was in 2018 when he was looking to play it very late around the off-stump.

“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 can he look at,” he added.

Furthermore, Gavaskar reiterated that luck has been evading Kohli.

“But the first mistake he is making is turning out to be his last mistake. Maybe he is not having the run of the luck at the moment,” he added.


Gavaskar, who is regarded as one of the finest batters to have played the sport, also shed light on why pre-meditation doesn’t help always in Test cricket as he responded to questions about Kohli’s tendency to play well outside the crease in English conditions.

Notably, Kohli had top-scored with 593 runs in 5 Tests after hitting 2 hundreds and 3 ffites in 2018 in England but success has eluded the star batter so far.

“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.

“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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