Former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar lavishes rich praises on Virat Kohli after the Indian captain registered his 25th Test half-century – his third in three Tests – on Monday in Chennai in the ongoing second Test of the series against England.
While Kohli got out for 62 and extended his century rut – the right-hander last scored a Test ton in November 2019 – his innings on Day 3 was one where he worked harder than some of his hundreds.
The pitch for the second Test is a raging turner – the visitors were bundled out for 134 courtesy of a fifer from R Ashwin – and even the Indian batsmen struggled as India slipped to a score of 106-6.
However, with the support of Ashwin, Kohli put on a masterclass on how to tackle spinner on a spin-friendly track. Sanjay Manjrekar lauds Kohli’s technique, one which he thinks was adept against the tweakers.
He praises the Indian skipper’s footwork, whether committing on the front foot or rocking on the back foot, but rarely misjudging the length.
“He has always had a great technique against spinners. He’s been very classical, very old fashioned, very copybook where if the ball is pitched right up, he gets onto the front foot. And when he gets onto the front foot, it stretches really long. And he ensures that his backfoot stays inside the crease, unlike Rohit Sharma,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
“And if the ball is slightly short, where he feels he can’t get on to the front foot and get it under the bat, he rocks back and plays off the back foot. So he’s one of the few modern-day batsmen who can play the pull shot against spinners on a turning pitch,” he added.
Virat Kohli has got a great sense of hand-eye coordination: Sanjay Manjrekar
The 55-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator speaks about how Kohli is natural with his technique and has immaculate hand-eye coordination which renders him to assess the length better than others.
“That technique and that understanding of how the ball behaves – you see that with Ashwin as well – so any batsman who has a feel for the ball will make the necessary adjustment.
“This is something that the academy-taught batsmen or who are shaped on bowling machines can struggle a bit, but anybody who’s got a great sense of hand-eye coordination tends to do well on these type of pitches,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.