Mark Butcher feels Virat Kohli doesn’t have a weakness in his batting
by Arya Author
Published - Jan 18, 2017 1:04 pm | Updated - Jan 18, 2017 1:43 pm
Riding on brilliant centuries from Indian captain Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav, the Men in Blue clinched a sensational come from behind victory in the 1st ODI against at Pune to go 1-0 up in the 3 match series. It was a brilliant display of batsmanship by Kohli and the local boy Jadhav who took on the English bowlers mercilessly after being reduced to 63/4, in a run chase of 351.
Not many teams would have ever hoped to come back from that situation but Kohli is a man from a different planet. Not only did he played a blinder of an innings but shrugged off his confidence to his partner who played a memorable innings of 120 of a mere 76 deliveries.
This was the first time Kohli was playing as a full-time captain of the limited-overs team and it was a monumental effort by him and his boys to chase down the mammoth target with 11 balls to spare. Courtesy his century Kohli also went past Sachin Tendulkar as the batsman with most centuries in successful run chases. He has now 15 centuries compared to Tendulkar’s 14. He has also joined Tendulkar with most centuries (17) during run-chases. But while the “Little Master “ took 232 innings to achieve the feat, Kohli achieved the feat in 96 matches.
When a batsman like Kohli is in such a stupendous form then what does a team do in order to stop the onslaught from Kohli? During an exclusive interaction with ESPN Cricinfo, former England batsman Mark Butcher shared some insights on what Eoin Morgan and his men can try in order to stop Kohli from repeating his exploits at Cuttack.
“The question that will be on the lips of all the England players and supporters right now is how to stop Virat Kohli? He’s now made 17 ODI centuries in run chases equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record in less than half the amount of matches. The man at the moment is very much unstoppable but I suppose for England and Eoin Morgan win the toss and your chasing would be a very good start,” Butcher was quoted as saying by the espncricinfo.com.
“Other than that in terms of his form I’m not entirely sure there is a weakness there particularly on pitches at home and particularly given that England does not possess high-quality spinners or real pace bowlers. Now that will be one area where I think that England might be looking to have a go at Kohli in these coming matches.
“Liam Plunkett, if available, might be the man to be thrown the ball to come in and rough up the Indian captain. But without that extreme pace you’re looking for him to make a mistake or perhaps even get bored but at the moments he looks as though he’s going to do anything but getting bored and making huge quantities of runs against the Englishmen,” Butcher added.
England will meet the Men in Blue in the 2nd encounter at Cuttack on Thursday followed by the final ODI at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.