Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt reckons that luck has not been on Virat Kohli’s side in recent times, which has only made life tougher for the out-of-form Indian batter. According to Butt, every time Kohli seems to be getting into some sort of rhythm with the willow, he gets an unplayable ball.
The former Indian captain was dismissed for 20 off 40 balls on Day 3 of the Birmingham Test against England. Kohli had struck four fours and was beginning to look ominous. However, England captain Ben Stokes got a good length delivery to bounce awkwardly as the Indian batter attempted a forward defense.
The ball took the gloves and went to keeper Sam Billings, who could not hold on. However, there was no reprieve for Kohli as Joe Root at first slip was alert enough to take the rebound.
The 33-year-old had to walk back dejected, with another low score against his name. Reviewing Kohli’s dismissal on Sunday, Butt said on his YouTube channel:
“Whenever Virat Kohli seems to be playing well, he gets an unplayable ball. He looked confident today (Sunday) and was batting well. To score big runs, you need some luck. No one else got the kind of unplayable ball that Virat did. There is nothing that Kohli or any other batter could do about that ball.”
Kohli has not enjoyed a lot of good fortune in the ongoing Test. He dropped a catch of Jack Leach in England’s first innings in the slip cordon. He was then criticized for needlessly having a go at Jonny Bairstow on Day 3.
The England batter, who was content defending until then, went on the rampage following his verbal spat with Kohli and brought up his third hundred in as many Tests.
“India’s fast bowlers are superior to that of New Zealand’s” - Salman Butt
Apart from Bairstow, none of the England batters looked comfortable against the Indian pacers in the first innings. This was the same batting line-up that dominated New Zealand recently. Explaining the difference between Indian and New Zealand bowlers, Butt said:
“India’s fast bowlers are superior to that of New Zealand’s. India have variety. They have seamers who can move the ball off the deck. (Mohammad) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah can do that, (Mohammed) Siraj hits the deck hard. They bowl nagging line and lengths with aggression. Shardul Thakur is a medium pacer, who can swing the ball.”
Mohammed Siraj was India’s leading wicket-taker in the first innings against England, claiming four for 66. Skipper Jasprit Bumrah picked up three for 68, while Mohammad Shami also chipped in with a couple.