Graeme Swann has made his point known in the build-up to the Virat Kohli and Jimmy Anderson battle in the upcoming five-match Test series between India and England.
Graeme Swann, on Thursday, juxtaposed the Indian skipper’s batting prowess during the 2014 and 2018 tours of England. He recalled how Virat Kohli used to get out ‘for fun’ against James Anderson before turning it around drastically in 2018.
Graeme Swann: James Anderson Used To Dismiss Virat Kohli For Fun In 2014 Before He Worked On His Game To Ensure He Didn’t Get Dismissed Again
The former spinner also hailed Virat Kohli as a batsman now capable of dominating in all time zones.
“The thing with Virat Kohli is, the last time he came here absolutely dominated the series. And again, to put the negative stand there and say ‘Oh Jimmy Anderson got his out for fun’… Jimmy Anderson ‘used to’ get him out for fun in England and it was embarrassing.”
“Virat Kohli went away, worked on his game to an extent that he didn’t get out at all to Jimmy and he dominated in England. I am sure he’s watching the videos, remembering his techniques against that English attack and I would back Virat Kohli to score runs anywhere in the world at any time,” Graeme Swann told in an exclusive interview.
In 2014, which was the then youngster Virat Kohli’s first Test tour of the UK, he could muster just 134 runs from 10 innings with the highest score of 39. The English bowlers exposed his weakness outside the off-stump to the hilt. While James Anderson dismissed him four times, Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan got him out twice each.
Instead of getting bogged down and with major support from the team management, Virat Kohli battled the mental toll to return with a bang in India’s next tour of the county in 2018. Virat Kohli, completing a four-year cycle as India’s Test captain, got his revenge against Joe Root-led England by scoring a chart-topping 593 runs, including three centuries. Although India lost the series, James Anderson couldn’t get his nemesis out even once.
Graeme Swann Hopes Virat Kohli Will Come Our Flying In The India- England 5 Match Test Series
India is now set to tour the UK again after three years. Virat Kohli is under pressure because of a century drought and the recent defeat in the World Test Championship final. Graeme Swann believes that a ‘world-class’ player like him will be up to the challenge and will come out with flying colours against all odds.
“The caveat that comes with being one of the ‘Big Four’, you are expected to score a big hundred either every Test match or every other Test match. That’s by your fans, your teammates [but] it’s hard work to do that. When you think that Virat hasn’t played for six months almost and he’s been in Covid bubbles, to come out with the same expectations in a one-off Test against New Zealand.”
“I think he still scored 70 runs in the game. He’s going to have five matches against England and a truly world-class player like Virat will be fine and he’ll come out flying in that series. He might not do that in the first Test, but by the end of the series, he’ll be one of the Big Four again,” Swann, who played 178 internationals for England, added.
Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018. The first of the five Tests will commence on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.