Gillespie’s suggestion to Australian bowlers: Former Australian pacer opined regarding how to dismiss Virat Kohli.
Seldom would you see an opposition team laying emphasis on a single player more than Australia are currently laying it on India captain Virat Kohli. With the first Test of the four-match series set to be played from December 6 at Adelaide, there have been plentiful suggestions on how to stop Kohli.
While Kohli’s recent inhuman form deserves the attention that he is getting, it also speaks highly about how one player can dominate proceedings in a team sport. Given the unbelievable feats which the 30-year old Indian captain has achieved in the last couple of years, team can’t really afford to take him lightly.
Among the latest cricketer to lend a suggestion with respect to countering Kohli’s bat is former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, the 43-year old spoke about bowlers being ‘switched on’ from the word go while bowling to Kohli.
“You need to be switched on from ball one. Because if Kohli has faced 20-odd balls and he has got more than 10-15 runs, he usually gets a significant score. And that is why it is so crucial to impact early. There cannot be any warm-up deliveries against Kohli. Don’t allow him to get going by giving him an easy shot — a half-volley, a tuck off the hip, a cut shot.
“If he is going to score runs, make him earn them, make him play really good shots, and make him take a risk. That applies to every batsman, but because Kohli is such a big and important player in this Indian side and so much rests on him as captain, it is really important to make sure you are switched on and you are bowling the best delivery you can,” Gillespie said.
He admitted that Kohli doesn’t really have many weaknesses at the moment, but believed that he can still be contained. Putting thorough onus on fast bowlers being able to generate swing, Gillespie was of the opinion that it one facet which can trouble Kohli.
“Everyone thinks Kohli has no weaknesses, and that is fair. He has a lot of strengths. But in England when the ball seamed or swung a little bit, I noticed he, at times, went really hard at the ball. I would like the Australian bowlers to have a look at that.
“On good surfaces where the ball is not really swinging or seaming, even if the length is not really quite there to drive, Kohli might still throw his hands at it and he will connect 99 times out of 100. But those deliveries in the UK were a bit different, with the Dukes ball, where Kohli nicked to the keeper and slips reasonably early a few times,” he added.
Other than swing, Gillespie further said that the fourth-stump line can have an adverse affect on Kohli scoring runs at will. “That fourth-stump line, about bail-high, with the potential movement away would be my stock ball to Kohli as a right-arm bowler. The variation would be the one that is pitched on off stump and just holds its line. And maybe even look to angle the ball back in to create the opportunity for bowled or lbw. To me that would be a really simple, easily implementable plan.
“Bowling straight was also a good counter to Kohli’s strategy in England this summer. He was plonking his front foot towards the off stump and flicking it to midwicket. It got him to get off strike easily. But if you maintain that off stump or fourth-stump line I am talking about, with the ball going away from him, if he tries to access those deliveries, to get over them, then there is the potential it could hurt him,” he concluded.
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on Kohli below:
That’s what happens when you do group circuit training! 🏋️ pic.twitter.com/bIKhq1mwqD
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 3, 2018
Kohli or bust: Pujara says India is no one-trick pony
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 3, 2018
Josh Hazlewood in PC: “They toured South Africa and England… and it was only Virat Kohli who stood out (in terms of scoring runs).”
India have one key problem. Australia know what it is. #AusvInd
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) December 3, 2018
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) December 3, 2018
— CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) December 2, 2018