The tour of England in 2014 is undoubtedly one of the very few lowest points in Virat Kohli’s illustrious international career so far.
Kohli was already a big name in the team at that time, and expectations were sky-high from him.
However, he was one of the worst performers on tour, scoring only 134 runs from ten innings, as India had lost the series 3-1. Virat scored 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests and finished the series with an average of 13.50.
However, Kohli has come a long way since that disastrous tour. He is arguably the best batsman in the world right now and has already proved himself in Australia and South Africa.
During the Australia tour in 2014-15, he had slammed four hundred in four Tests.
The India captain has since also scored six double hundreds including four in successive series. Against England in the five-Test series at home, Kohli scored 655 runs and led India to a 4-0 triumph.
He was also in top form in South Africa, smashing 871 runs across formats. He was the leading run-scorer in the Test and ODI series. The right-handed batsman is tipped by many to do well in England this time around.
But just before the start of the series, legendary pacer, Glenn McGrath has delivered some word of advice for the India skipper.
The former Australia pacer warned that an in-form James Anderson could make things tougher for Kohli this time too.
“Kohli is a more experienced player now. Quality player, no doubt about that. But English conditions are very tough. When you have got a bowler like Jimmy Anderson, who is bowling well now, it is going to be hard work. You got to be prepared to work hard. Kohli is a quality player, so I am looking forward to that contest,” McGrath told journalists.
McGrath quickly pointed out that India would be in trouble if they rely solely on Kohli in England. He backed Cheteshwar Pujara, who did not have a good outing in county cricket, to deliver the goods.
“You always want your best batsman performing. However, it also gives another batsman a chance to put his hand up, and there are still some quality batsmen there, some quality players there. If India are really depending on one player, they have got it wrong…,” he said.
“I have not seen what the conditions are like in the UK. Pujara, even though he hasn’t got runs, he will be there. Just being used to the conditions, I think that will help him,” he added.
About the bowling department, McGrath is confident that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will make a mark.
When asked who among Indian pacers could do the job in England, McGrath said:
“Bhuvi and Bumrah. They have got pretty good control. That’s what you need, especially in England. The Dukes ball has a pronounced seam. If you get the ball in the right areas consistently, then you are going to do well. The ball will do a little bit, so yeah.. they will do well.”
One of the greatest pacers of all time, McGrath went on to say that adaptability is the key.
“I think a lot of it depends on how the players adapt. You got to adapt a lot quicker these days. During my time, we used to get a couple of tour matches. They will have to adjust and adapt quicker. Obviously, there aren’t enough tour matches to really get used to the conditions. They will just have to rely on past experience,” McGrath said.