Adjustments made by Virat Kohli to succeed in England
Virat Kohli's disastrous 2014 tour of England is well documented. James Anderson exploited every chink in his armor, during the last tour. It was the only blemish on his otherwise perfect resume and this time around he was eager to set the record straight.
Virat Kohli's performance on the current tour of England has been in complete contrast to the performance on the 2014 tour. Having said that, it takes a lot of mental and physical effort to transform your game as per the needs of the alien conditions.
Kohli's mental strength, which is his biggest virtue, has come to the fore once again, both, as a batsman and as a competitor. Apart from being in the correct state of mind, Kohli had to make some physical adjustments to his game, let's take a glance at what those adjustments are.
#1 He has put his ego aside
In modern-day cricket bat tends to dominate bowl. This results in inflated ego for most of the batsmen. Batsmen look to dominate the bowlers from the word go, most of the time this approach works.
But, in conditions where the ball is swinging and seaming, batsmen have to give bowlers their due and play a waiting game. They have to bide their time and wait for the bowlers to make mistakes. In such conditions, batsmen cannot create or innovate attacking shots, if they try to do so, it invariably results in their downfall.
Kohli has shown exemplary self-discipline on this tour. He has played Anderson with a lot of respect. In every innings so far he has given himself enough time to get used to the pitch and conditions. He has played shots, but, after getting settled.
#2 Back and across feet movement
Kohli has included a slight shuffle of the back leg from leg stump to middle stump in his game. Due to this movement, Kohli's front leg gets outside the off stump, while he is playing on the front foot, which takes LBW out of the equation.
This adjustment allows Kohli to freely move his front foot towards the ball without being in fear of getting trapped LBW.
#3Playing Close to his body
Kohli has a lovely cover drive in his repertoire, but, to play a cover drive, sometimes he used to reach for the ball outside the off stump. During the current series, Kohli is consciously playing close to his body which means he is not extending his arms to play the cover drive.
He is allowing the ball to come to him, especially, during the early part of his innings. He is playing drives to half volleys and leaving the deliveries which are wide of off stump.
Also, he is trying to play the ball as late as possible, which allows him to leave the deliveries that are swinging late.
These adjustments have made a world of difference to his performance. Looking at the way he is batting in the series, it won't be an exaggeration to say that we might witness two or three more hundreds from captain Kohli.