Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s recent dismissal in the World Test Championship final against Australia has once again brought his batting technique into focus. As Mitchell Starc’s rising delivery caught him off guard, concerns have been raised about Kohli falling behind his counterparts such as Steve Smith, Joe Root, and Kane Williamson. Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has identified Kohli’s forward press technique as a major flaw, suggesting that a stronger backfoot game is needed to overcome his current shortcomings.
One of the key observations made by Manjrekar is Kohli’s constant inclination to lunge forward on the front foot, even against short deliveries. This forward press technique leaves him vulnerable to rising deliveries that could be better handled from the back foot. In contrast, players like Smith, Root, and Williamson exhibit exceptional backfoot play, which has been instrumental in their success in Test cricket.
The uneven behavior of the pitch at The Oval during the World Test Championship final further exposed Kohli’s vulnerability to rising deliveries. The delivery from Starc surprised Kohli, catching his thumb and leading to a sharp catch by Steve Smith. This incident highlights the pressing need for Kohli to adjust his technique and incorporate a stronger backfoot game to handle such deliveries more effectively.
Sanjay Manjrekar has emphasized the significance of a robust backfoot game, especially in Test cricket where bowlers often exploit the bounce and movement off the pitch. While Kohli’s mental toughness and experience have allowed him to continue scoring runs despite his technical flaws, the reliance on his current technique has made the task more challenging. By developing a better backfoot game, Kohli can enhance his ability to handle short deliveries and regain an edge over his rivals.
Kohli’s batting prowess is unquestionable, and his ability to score runs is a testament to his skill and determination. However, his preference for the front foot has occasionally hampered his run-scoring potential in Test cricket. While he manages to adapt and find ways to succeed, the need for adjustments becomes increasingly crucial as the competition intensifies. Examining the success of players like Smith, Root, and Williamson, who excel due to their strong backfoot play, serves as a valuable reference for Kohli’s evolution as a batsman.
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Virat Kohli’s batting technique, particularly his reliance on the front foot, has once again come under scrutiny following his dismissal in the World Test Championship final. Sanjay Manjrekar’s assessment of Kohli’s forward press technique and the need for a stronger backfoot game raises valid concerns about his ability to keep up with players like Smith, Root, and Williamson. While Kohli’s mental strength and experience have allowed him to succeed thus far, adapting his technique to include a more solid backfoot play could be the key to maintaining his dominance in Test cricket.