Former India skipper Virat Kohli is going through a bad patch, which has continued in the ongoing second and final Test against Sri Lanka at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Kohli received a grand welcome from his fans on the opening day of the match but failed to put on a big score after being dismissed for just 23 by Dhananjaya de Silva. The batting all-rounder bowled a classic off-break, but the length was short.
Kohli reacted accordingly and went back to play it, but the red-cherry kept low and spun in sharply, hitting the batter in front. The bowler immediately raised an appeal and umpire gave the decision in the fielding team’s favour.
Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar tried to decode Kohli’s approach towards that wicket delivery and offered him a piece of key advice on how to come out of this lean patch. Gavaskar reckoned that Kohli had repeated the same mistake of playing the wicket-delivery on backfoot as the Delhi-based cricketer did in the Mohali Test.
“That shot he played wasn’t the shot he should have played. Again, it was the trajectory. The way he went backfoot to Embuldeniya in the first Test…this time around, he played across the front pad. This meant he was always going to struggle…and if he missed it, he would be a candidate for LBW. That is exactly what happened. Even he didn’t wait. He knew it. As soon as the ball hit the pads, he was right in front that is why he did not wait for the referral. Playing across the line cost him today,” Gavaskar explained while speaking to Star Sports at the end of Day 1.
Gavaskar suggested that Kohli should eliminate the shots which are troubling him and should rather focus on playing shots with the full face of the bat that will eventually help him come out of the rough patch.
“The conversation you are having with yourself is to try and eliminate those kind of shots that get you out. You are trying to have a conversation where you say that play as much as possible with the full face of the bat. And try and do that which will give him that much of a chance to get out of what you might call a lean patch,” added Gavaskar.
Interestingly, in the second innings as well, Kohli (13) got out on the backfoot with the ball keeping low in the 35th overs bowled by Praveen Jayawickrama.