Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli Credits: Twitter

Former England spinner Graeme Swann highlighted Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli’s fighting mentality, revealing that England players were warned not to mess with the ace Indian batter during their 2012 tour of India. During the 2012-13, Alastair Cook’s led England side won a historic four-test series 2-1 on Indian soil.

England won their last series (2-1) in India in 2012-13. Since then, they’ve lost two-Test series in India, 0-4 in 2016-17 and 1-3 in 2020-21, and the team is gearing up for the five-match series against India. India has a dominant force on home soil, especially in the red-ball format of the game.

However, Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have guided England to 13 victories and one draw in 19 games since taking over as captain and coach of England.

Speaking to the media, Graeme Swann said that England players were cautioned not to take on Virat Kohli during the 2012 series due to his promising performance in younger days, and he also disclosed how Steve Finn’s verbal fight with Kohli backfired on the English pacer.

“We had been told beforehand to not say anything to this bloke [Virat Kohli],” Graeme Swann said.

Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann Credits: Twitter

“Steven Finn got driven for a couple of incredible fours and he lost the plot and had a got at him and realised his mistake straight away. Virat roared up like a tiger and Finn just doubled down and got smashed everywhere,” Graeme Swann added.

Virat Kohli has retained a distinct intensity on the pitch over the years, and his approach has been appreciated by certain cricket analysts, while others argue that revealing your emotions on the pitch is unhealthy. There haven’t been many players in India like Kohli, who are aggressive and take control of the game from the start.

I Would Always Say To Him I Wish I Could Bowl Like You – Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann heaped praise on Monty Panesar for his incredible performance in the 2012 series, during which he played an important role for the squad. Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar were the heroes of England’s victory in India, picking up 17 and 20 wickets, respectively.

“The secret to Test cricket is to treat it as if you are the best player in the world and everyone else has to dance to your tune,” Swann stated.

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar Credits: Twitter

“I look back on that Test and I bowled fairly well but I didn’t feel like I was doing anything special. I was just supporting Monty on the other end because he was bowling 65mph, pitching middle and leg, fizzing past the outside edge and he was incredible in that game”.

“I always liked playing with Monty, he had this childlike innocence about him and his love for cricket which was just amazing. I would always say to him I wish I could bowl like you, look at the shape you get on the ball, look at how consistent you are and he would just grin like a kid at Christmas,” Graeme Swann added.

Monty Panesar’s spin bowling plagued the Indian batsmen throughout the Test series, as England rallied to win by 2-1 on the away soil and Graeme Swann provided a perfect support to him throughout the series picking up 17 wickets.