Former India opener, Sunil Gavaskar marvels over Virat Kohli’s batting on Day 3 of the second Test match against England in Chennai as the Indian captain notched up his 25th Test fifty on a difficult batting pitch.
Sunil Gavaskar heaps rich praises over Kohli’s intent of playing the spinners either straight on the front-foot – closing the bat-pad gap as Moeen Ali bowled him through that gap for a duck in the first innings – or rocking back on the backfoot; but also cashing in on any loose balls.
“He played with positive intent and when your team has got that belief then you come into bat despite the fact that you might not have scored runs in the first innings. But look at his intent. He is either going right forward or right back. When he comes forward, he is smothering the ball, and when he’s going back, he is giving himself time to see what the ball is doing,” Sunil Gavaskar said while speaking with Star Sports.
“When the half-volley comes on, someone like Virat Kohli is never going to miss out on opportunities. Then again, using the wrist so well, turning with the ball and closing the face of the ball to make it go along the ground. This is classy batting,” he added.
India has shown that this is not an impossible pitch to bat on: Sunil Gavaskar
The 1983 World Cup winner slams the detractors of this pitch by pointing out that the Indian batsmen – Virat Kohli and R Ashwin in particular who both got made their fifties – showed how to play on this track as the hosts have scored more runs in their second innings than England’s first innings.
Sunil Gavaskar observed that Kohli and Ashwin have applied themselves brilliantly to survive and didn’t miss any chances to score runs. By Tea in Day 3, the Indian captain was dismissed by Moeen Ali on 62 but Ashwin remains the crease on 68.
“India has shown intent. It’s what you have seen in this latest partnership – between Kohli and Ashwin. The way they have looked to score at every opportunity, the way they have stolen singles, they’ve covered ones into twos. They’ve run hard between the wickets. Looks, the boundary balls haven’t always been there and you won’t get easy boundaries in Test cricket,” Gavaskar pointed out.
“But what they have shown is this pitch is not the devilish pitch everyone is talking about. Yes, it’s a challenging pitch and that’s how it should be. The fact that India has scored more runs than England did in their first innings is an indication that it is not an impossible pitch,” the 71-year-old further added.