Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has shed light on Australia’s possible tactics against Indian captain Virat Kohli in their upcoming tour down under. Australia and India are both gearing up for a high-voltage all-format clash that spans across two months and could see several records being shattered. Aakash Chopra underlined that Australia could have several plans against the 32-year old; however, the execution remains in doubt.
While Virat Kohli remains available only till the white-ball leg and the first out of four Tests, Australia will want to keep him quiet for that timeframe. Kohli, who is a prolific run-getter across formats, is the most effective in white-ball cricket, averaging nearly 60 in ODIs and 50 in T20 internationals. Furthermore, the Indian skipper would be keen to set the tone for the part of the tour for which he remains unavailable.
Aakash Chopra highlighted that the opposition needs proper planning while bowling to Virat Kohli and Australia needs to concentrate on white-ball cricket first. The 43-year old believes that the margin of error for bowlers while bowling to him would be very minimal and one needs to capitalise even on half-chances for the Delhi batsman to perish early. If not done, the plans would prove futile no matter the execution.
“All these are not bad tactics and the fact is that if you are bowling against Kohli, you need some plans. But planning is one thing, execution of those plans is quite another. Also, we are talking about One-Day cricket here. As for Tests, he is just playing one match, which is still a month away. But when you are looking at white-ball cricket, you can always plan bowling wide; but how wide can you bowl actually?
If you are bowling too wide, it will be wide. If you are bowling within the stumps, he will be clipping you for boundaries, throughout. As a leg spinner, you will try, but this window of opportunity in a one-day contest or a T20 contest is very short. And if you don’t capitalise on it and you don’t dismiss Virat Kohli, then these plans won’t really matter; no matter how good the execution is,” Chopra told Times Now.
A lot of time your response also depends on how the game is evolving: Aakash Chopra
The former Indian opener commented that plans might hardly work in white-ball cricket since the batsmen are looking to score runs off every ball while in Tests, captains have a considerable amount of time. Hence, all the strategies would come into picture in Adelaide, where the contest would be played with the pink ball. Aakash Chopra predicts that out of six white-ball games, Kohli will score heavily in four of those.
“In theory, all these things are fantastic. In Tests, you would go on with these tactics for a considerable amount of time. But when you talk about one-day and T20 cricket, there is hardly any time. A lot of time your response also depends on how the game is evolving. If India have got off to a flyer, then you’ll go defensive a little too soon. You won’t think of dismissing Kohli, you will only think of restricting him.
Those things will matter but I see more of this in the first Test match – the day-night game at Adelaide. That is where you would actually do that. You bowl wide, you bowl straight, get on your leg-spinner… but will there be a leg-spinner? We don’t know. Maybe just Nathan Lyon and three fast bowlers. We will cross that bridge when we come to it but for one-day and T20s, I think these are plans. It may succeed a couple of times. But it means in a six-match series comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, he will still score four times,” he added.