Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

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Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach on Sunday pointed out a key error in Virat Kohli’s batting that has led to his recent failures in Test cricket. This is the sixth time when Virat Kohli has been dismissed between 20 and 50 in the last 10 innings.

Virat Kohli looked well set with his knock of 35 before he fell while chasing after a wide delivery from Lungi Ngidi in the second session of the opening Test against South Africa in Centurion. At stumps on Day 1 of the first Test match at the SuperSport in Centurion, India was placed at 272 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Virat Kohli's last Test ton came against Bangladesh in 2019 (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Virat Kohli’s last Test ton came against Bangladesh in 2019 (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

Sanjay Bangar: It Could Be A Mental Error For Virat Kohli As One Can’t Only Rely On A Front Foot Shot Only

Looking back at his dismissal, Sanjay Bangar felt Virat Kohli relies a lot on his front foot game and needs to improve his batting in the back foot especially when playing against a quicker attack like Australia or South Africa or in seaming conditions like in England and New Zealand.

“Yes, it could be a mental error for Kohli at least as far as the execution part is, going after that wide ball. He relies a lot on driving the ball and against quicker attacks and in seaming conditions, you require one more game. You can’t only rely on a front foot shot. Because if he continues to do that, bowlers will continue to drag him wider and wider and hope that they find the outside edge,” Sanjay Bangar said.

Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital

“So it will be worth for Virat to give a thought of also developing some sort of a response on the backfoot as well. He now only seems to be preoccupied in scoring on the front foot,” Sanjay Bangar added. 

Virat Kohli, who batted with utmost clarity of mind and with a solid technique, had to pay a heavy price for a momentary loss of concentration which cost him his wicket after staying at the crease for 94 deliveries. Sanjay Bangar reacted to Virat Kohli’s dismissal, saying the prolific batter needs to develop a “response of the back foot” and not be preoccupied with playing on the front foot.

Chasing a delivery that was wide outside off, Virat Kohli was deceived by the late swing generated in the delivery and gave away an easy catch to Wiaan Mulder at first slip.

Morne Morkel: Virat Kohli Should Be Patient

Former South African pacer Morne Morkel, who was part of the same discussion, issued a warning to Virat Kohli following the Centurion failure. The former South African pacer said the South African attack will rely on this game plan against Virat Kohli, who he believes needs to be more patient at the crease.

“That will be the game plan from South Africa in the series. They will put that point fielder out in the boundary and hang the ball out there for Virat. There will be bounce outside the off stump so good luck.

“It is a patient game. Ngidi just dragged him wider and wider and Virat with that sort of an intent and looking to score went after the ball and South Africa picked up the main wicket. Because he was looking dangerous. His body language at the crease was very impressive,” said Morkel. 

Morne Morkel and son Arias during his farewell Test // Getty
Morne Morkel and son Arias during his farewell Test // Getty

With his yet another failure, Virat Kohli has now gone without an international century for 764 days. With Virat Kohli’s search for that elusive 71st international ton still ongoing, former cricketers Morne Morkel and Ajit Agarkar spoke on the dilemma the modern great is facing in the longest format.

Speaking on the post-match show, Ajit Agarkar cited Virat Kohli’s problem with the in-coming deliveries and also lauded Lungi Ngidi for being persistent with his line against the Indian skipper. Despite Virat Kohli’s dismissal, India finished the opening day at a score of 272/3, with opener KL Rahul scoring an unbeaten 122 to power the side to a strong position.