England captain Joe Root has credited his bowling unit for Virat Kohli’s ongoing lean patch. He added that the hosts will aim to sustain the pressure on the Indian skipper if they are to harbor hopes of winning the series.
While Kohli was the highest scorer on the 2018 tour with a staggering 593 runs, the 32-year-old has managed to score a meager 124 runs at an average of 24.80 in the three Tests thus far. His manner of dismissals – nicking balls outside the off-stump – has been particularly alarming, and Joe Root lavished praise on his bowlers for the same.
“First and foremost, Virat’s world-class – there’s no doubt. And I think that’s why the credit has to go to our bowlers. They have been able to keep him quiet, to keep a world-class player as quiet as we have is an extremely good effort from the bowling group,” Joe Root said during a virtual media conference ahead of the fourth Test.
“And something that we have going to continue to do if we want to win this series. Till now, we have found ways of getting him out, and we have to keep finding ways of building pressure and keeping him quiet,” Joe Root added.
After the incredible victory at Lord’s, England bounced back comprehensively to win the third Test at Leeds by an innings and 76 runs.
“There’s no right way to bat” – Joe Root downplays India’s approach to play off the front foot
India have now suffered two successive batting collapses. Virat Kohli’s boys were skittled for an embarrassing 78 in the first innings of the Headingley Test. In the second essay, they did put on a stellar show by marching to 237 for 3 before Joe Root’s bowlers snuffed out the last 7 wickets for 41 runs.
On the one hand, the English batsmen – and Joe Root in particular – have highlighted the art of batsmanship in England by playing off the back foot and square of the wicket. The tourists, on the other hand, have tended to remain on the front foot, thus keeping the slip cordon busy.
Asked if not taking a leaf out of England’s batting book has brought about India’s downfall, Joe Root opined there’s no right way to batting. But he did speak highly of their own batting heroics and claimed they’d look to repeat the same in London.
“I’d say everyone has their own style of ways of batting, that’s the art of cricket, knowing when to play what and having a really good understanding of the situation you find yourself in. I think last week we managed that really well as a batting group, we didn’t give chances, we managed to soak up pressure at times. But ultimately, when we got our opportunities to score, we took them. Everyone will have their own techniques and their own ways of managing that, it’s just can you do it to the best of your ability.
“I was really proud of the way we managed to do that as a team at Leeds, and challenge will be if can we repeat that again. I suppose that’s the art and fun of the game that there’s no right way to bat, it’s just can you find a method that is sustainable and consistent in this format,” Joe Root said in response to Sportskeeda’s query.
With the series level 1-1, there will be everything to play for when Virat Kohli and Joe Root walk out for the toss at The Oval on Thursday (September 2).