Jimmy Anderson edges duel but Virat Kohli still scales mountain | Andy Bull | Sport


Virat Kohli does not care to talk about the 2014 tour any more. After four years it seems the India captain has grown sick of being asked about it. But he did open up on it once, in 2015. “I put too much pressure on myself,” he said in an interview with Cricket Monthly. “I made it seem like a big mountain in front of me and once I was not able to scale it I was really disappointed.”

Kohli arrived back in those same foothills just after midday on Thursday, his team reeling after two quick wickets, and set himself for another attempt on the far summit, five Tests distant at the other end of the English summer.

By stumps Kohli was that much closer to the top. He had hauled his team up with him, almost single-handedly, to within 13 runs of England’s first-innings score. It had been a hard, bloody struggle but he had made his first Test 50, then his first Test century, in England. And he had done it despite the best efforts of the 36-year-old Jimmy Anderson, who bowled 22 overs, three more than anyone else and more than twice as many as Stuart Broad. Over half of them were to Kohli alone, in a duel between the world’s best Test batsman and bowler.

Anderson was already on when Kohli came in, seven overs deep into his spell from the City end. He must have been tiring but he, too, set himself to come again and their contest was renewed. Nobody has taken Kohli’s wicket in Test cricket more often than Anderson. Four years ago Anderson got him four times in five matches. But Kohli is a different batsman now, better, more resourceful and self-assured. He immediately took guard outside his crease, a technique he developed specifically to deal with Anderson’s type of bowling after he failed against it on the previous tour here.

The idea was to counteract Anderson’s swing through the air by meeting the ball early and to force Anderson to drag his length back. Kohli has said his problem in 2014 was that he was so worried about the inswinger that he ended up out of position for the one that went away. Here Anderson showed him that same worrisome inswinger early on, with his very third ball, to plant a seed of doubt in Kohli’s mind. It worked. Kohli seemed hesitant, unsure, and soon after he threw a loose drive that edged the ball down low to Jos Buttler’s left at gully.

Twice more Kohli edged the ball just short of England’s close fielders. And then he shaped to break for a quick single but scurried back when he saw Joe Root closing in on the ball. The match flowed around him. At the other end India’s middle order was swept away by Sam Curran and then Ben Stokes. Kohli, locked into this combat with Anderson, was too busy trying to survive to help. Anderson bowled, almost unchanged, for three more overs before lunch and five after it. He took one brief spell, reprieved by Adil Rashid for a single over before the break.

Then, when Kohli was on 21, he erred again – another edge. This one carried thigh-high to Dawid Malan at second slip, who dropped it. Anderson had worked and waited eight long overs for that moment. Now it had passed. Root finally decided to pull him out of the attack. He was not off long. Root brought him back on right after tea, when Kohli was on 53. In the second over of this spell Anderson was sure he had his man again, lbw with another inswinger. The umpire Chris Gaffney disagreed, and rightly too, because when England called for a review it showed the ball was missing leg stump.

The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email.

Anderson was bowling as well as ever, and beat both Ravi Ashwin and Mohammed Shami, but Kohli was just beginning to get his measure. Altogether Anderson bowled 74 balls to Kohli, who made only 18 runs off them, 12 of them in 31 balls during this second spell after tea.

The other 131 he scored came in the 151 deliveries Kohli faced from everyone else. The crowd had booed Kohli when he came out. When he walked off again, they gave him an ovation. Anderson did not join in.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scarpenter - Page brought to you by S Carpenter