Virat Kohli says that Indian batsmen's issues are 'mental' rather than technical

Sudhir Gupta 22:08 08/08/2018
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Virat Kohli has urged fans not to judge his batting unit just yet.

Virat Kohli refuses to believe his fellow India batsmen cannot follow his lead and put England under pressure in the second Test at Lord’s.

Kohli was a lone hand in the tourists’ 31-run defeat at Edgbaston – where he made 200 runs, yet none of his team-mates could top 31 in either innings.

But he sees no reason to suspect India are collectively incapable of adapting to conditions which have in any case, despite a break in the heatwave this week, been more akin to Bangalore than Birmingham so far this summer.

Kohli does not suspect any technical issues against the moving ball.

“We should not judge so fast, and jump to conclusions,” he said. “As a team, we keep patience; we don’t judge so fast. We don’t see any pattern.”

Kohli is nonetheless calling on his team to exercise a little more caution at the start of their innings.

“As far as wickets falling in a heap is concerned, it is not about technique – it is more of a mental aspect,” he said.

“There must be a clear plan of how to face the first 20-30 balls, and more often than not that plan does not involve aggression. We need some composure.”

Kohli does not believe India's batsmen have a technical issue.

Kohli does not believe India’s batsmen have a technical issue.

Kohli has a new opposite number in the batting order, after England captain Joe Root confirmed 20-year-old Ollie Pope will make his debut at number four.

He wishes the youngster well, just not too well.

“It is going to be a big occasion for him,” said the world’s number-one Test batsman.

“I am happy for him – as a cricketer I understand how important it is. I will tell him to enjoy the occasion and not get too many runs.”

Both teams have retained the option of picking a second spinner on a pitch which may still start conspicuously green – depending whether it is cut again before start of play – but is thought to be baked dry underneath by months of un-English sunshine.

India are most likely to prefer wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav to his fellow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja, alongside Ravi Ashwin, if they do alter the balance of their attack.

Kohli said: “It could be a tempting thought, two spinners are definitely in contention.

“The pitch looked very hard, the surface very dry. It has been very hot in London for the last couple of months.

“There is good grass cover, (but) that is required basically to keep the wicket together – otherwise it would be very difficult to hold it together.”

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