India’s middle-order dilemma continued as Anderson once again claimed the big wicket of Virat Kohli. The tussle is now heavily tipped in favour of the English fast bowler and Kohli’s woes in the middle-order are simply too overwhelming to slip from the mantle.
Anderson was on a roar today from the very onset as he racked up KL Rahul early in the innings with a peach of a delivery. Cheteshwar Pujara couldn’t live up to the expectations either with him once again falling to the vicious swing from Anderson.
Kohli provided some early hope with a couple of decent-looking strokes that heralded resistance against the mighty English. Despite breaking free from the early pressure, Kohli once again started tottering and Anderson capitalized on the situation. Kohli departed for 7 from 17 balls as Anderson compelled him to drive on the front foot without even knowing that the ball was swinging back in and the leading edge flew to the safe arms of Buttler.
This is the eighth time Anderson has bagged Kohli in Test cricket and the number of runs scored by the Indian skipper hasn’t been close to remarkable. Fans have been baffled by this humbling showdown by the Indian captain for a while now. We will try and find out a few reasons why Kohli has always fallen to the iconic English fast bowler.
#1 Unable to grasp the movement of the ball
Kohli has been struggling vehemently to adjust his positions to get on top of the ball. One of his major causes of concern has so far been his indecisiveness. There have been occasions where he has gone half-heartedly into a stroke with the ball drifting menacingly close to him while there have been scenarios where his movement has been cumbersome that led to a resultant edge. The inability to read the swing and the drift has cost him dearly against Anderson.
#2 Undone by the pace
This is an alarming fact that will keep Kohli edgy for more matches to come. One of the finest players of pace has come unglued against the 142-143 plus clicks by Anderson. This can also be attributed to his indecisiveness as his late judgment has left him vulnerable to pace. Kohli’s struggle against Anderson is not new but the way he has been dismissed in almost similar fashion in the last few games won’t really help his cause.
#3 Trying to be technically accurate
Technical accuracy is a myth when it comes to real-life situations, may it be your desk job at the office or the cricket ground. Kohli is known for his precision in executing his strokes perfectly but in tough times where Anderson has spotted his weakness, especially in the corridor of uncertainty on the off-stump, he will need to snap out of that fixed mindset. There was a knock where even Sachin Tendulkar completely gave up his off-side because he kept on falling to deliveries flying away from him. In fact, Anderson himself changed his strategy when he bowled at KL Rahul in the first over of the Test match. Adaptability is extremely crucial for a cricketer at the international level. If Kohli is unable to unwind himself, things can seem bleaker for him.
#4 Consistent failures are making it more difficult for Kohli
It becomes a psychological challenge for any cricketer on the face of the earth to cope with consistent pressure at an international level. Kohli is in the middle of a stringent schedule and in the near offing to arrive, there is no break altogether for the Indian captain. The fact that he has failed repeatedly in the recent past is sitting like a noose around his neck. He will have to find a way to give himself some time if he wants to get his form back at the international level.