‘That is hindering his batting’: Manjrekar points out reason behind Kohli’s struggles which ‘make bowler’s job easier’

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Virat Kohli’s disappointing run in Test cricket has been a cause of concern for the side. The Indian Test captain made a bright start to the first innings of the Centurion Test against South Africa but gave his wicket away rather cheaply, as he chased a delivery wide outside the off-stump. He was dismissed in a similar manner in the second innings too, which led to many – including former captain Sunil Gavaskar – suggesting that he could curb his cover drives.

As cover-drive has been Kohli’s one of the most rewarding strokes in his career, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar detailed on Kohli’s struggles while attempting the shot and offered a potential solution for the Indian Test captain.

Manjrekar believes that Kohli has been lunging forward “no matter what” over the past few months and that is causing him troubles.

“Clearly, a guy who is going through an inevitable bad patch. You start losing confidence and then all got confused. I’m sure there is lot of advice coming in his direction on leaving the balls outside the off-stump. But then, he might be thinking if he starts leaving those balls, where do I get those runs? Because cover drive is one of his main shots,” said Manjrekar on ESPNCricinfo.

“Something that I noticed for a year and a half, is the technique that Virat Kohli has started to trust, which is about lunging forward and getting onto that front foot no matter what. And that is hindering a lot of his batting. If you look at the strike rate in last year or so, against New Zealand in WTC to the first innings in South Africa, 30-40. It is all to do because he is only playing on the front foot.”

Manjrekar believes that Kohli should start playing on the backfoot.

“I wouldn’t advice him leaving balls outside off-stump. Maybe just the one thing he can do is start getting on the backfoot a little and not be a batter who is on the front foot no matter what. It makes the bowler’s job a lot easier. If he starts using the crease, he will find that he will get a lot of loose balls. Otherwise, tall fast bowlers on these pitches just keep hitting the deck and those turn out to be great bowls for Virat Kohli because he uses that front foot,” said the former Indian cricketer.

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