England's Test captain Joe Root claims the visitors are expecting Virat Kohli to notch big runs at some point in the ongoing 4-Test series. Unveiling his plan to counter the Indian skipper in the 2nd Test, Root said the visitors will try to build pressure on him by incessantly "challenging his defense."
Making his comeback after a 6-week-long hiatus, Virat Kohli played a passive knock of 11 runs in the first innings and was dismissed after playing a false stroke against off-spinner Dom Bess. Kohli, however, looked to have regained some form in the second innings.
The 32-year-old countered everything the English bowlers threw at him to contribute a valiant 72 to India's total of 192. However, it wasn't enough as England won the game by a massive margin of 227 runs.
Addressing a pre-match press conference, Joe Root lauded his opposite number as one of the best batsmen in the world. Root also named off-spinner and Virat Kohli's former IPL teammate Moeen Ali as a possible threat on the Chennai wicket.
"We know he's a good player. We know he's going to score at some point in this tour. We just have to keep him as quiet as we can. I think we went about that brilliantly in the first innings. Bessy produced a brilliant delivery to get rid of him. Moeen has played a lot of cricket with him and spent time with him in the IPL as well," said the England captain.
Ultimately we just got to keep delivering our best bowls time and time again, challenge his defense as often as possible and try and build pressure on him. We know he's one of the world's best players and he will be desperate to prove a point this week," he continued.
Although Virat Kohli's return to form is good news for India and Indian fans, questions about his batting remain. The skipper didn't record a single century last year and has recently slipped to the 5th position in ICC Test rankings for batsmen as well.
Virat Kohli poses an exciting challenge for our bowling group: Joe Root
The England believes the presence of Virat Kohli poses an exciting challenge for the young bowling attack, which will be without James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Dom Bess for the 2nd Test. He said:
"But what an exciting challenge for our bowling group. We have dismissed him once early in the series. Can we do it again now? Can we collectively find ways again of restricting the whole batting group, particularly players like Virat," finished Joe Root.
Virat Kohli could certainly take heart from his stunning Test record at home. In 40 Tests in India, Kohli has scored over 3500 runs at a whopping average of 67.43. The last time Joe Root and Co. toured India for a Test series, in 2016, Kohli plundered 655 runs from 8 innings and emerged as the Man of the Series.
He will look to recreate the magic when the second Test kicks off on Saturday.