Kohli is similar to Lara when it comes to sledging: Glenn McGrath
The question was simple and straight: Will sledging Virat Kohli work for the bowlers? Will it be fruitful?
Legendary Australia pacer Glenn McGrath, who has unsettled many legendary batsmen such as Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and VVS Laxman - both with his words and his corridor of uncertainty - compared Kohli to Lara when it came down to verbal engagements.
“It just depends on how they are going. Brian Lara was very similar. When he was focused and in the zone and if you said anything to him, that was it...you could lock in, he would score a double hundred. It was just his day. You knew that was going to happen,” McGrath, who is at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai guiding young pacers, told Sportskeeda in an exclusive chat.
The veteran pacer went on to add: “So Virat's probably a little bit similar (to Lara). If he is on form and focused and scoring runs, I think he loves that banter, that challenge and that aggression there and it gets him going.
“But when you are off your game and you are not performing well and you are down on confidence, it can work against you. So a little bit of chat here and there....But if you throw a willy-nilly it could work against you (as bowlers). It’s all part of the game, you have to enjoy it and have a bit of fun. Play hard, tough but fair cricket out there,” he concluded.
Kohli, who scored his first Test century in England on Thursday, is not one to take a step back when it comes to dealing with sledging or getting himself involved in on-field banter. The 2014 India-Australia Test series Down Under was a classic case of Kohli getting into the zone when the opposition tried to unsettle him with verbal volleys. Kohli ended up smashing the Australian attack on almost every occasion.
Most times, Kohli gives it back: first with his words and then with his bat!