“It was a masterclass from Virat Kohli today” – Gautam Gambhir

Virat Kohli scored a half-century in India

Virat Kohli looked at ease while playing against the spinners

Gautam Gambhir has stated that Virat Kohli put on a masterclass with his batting against spin in India’s second innings of the ongoing Chennai Test.

Virat Kohli played a 62-run knock on the third day of the second Test against England. The Indian captain looked assured in the middle while batting against spin on a raging turner.

While speaking on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir lauded Virat Kohli’s decisive footwork while facing the spinners.

“It was a masterclass from Virat Kohli today. He went either fully forward or back based on the delivery. He didn’t play half-cock and didn’t commit himself on the front foot. There are a lot of batsmen who commit themselves on a turning track and then the extra bounce troubles them,” said Gambhir.

The former Indian opener pointed out that Virat Kohli refrained from playing the extravagant cover drive, which is a shot that led to his dismissal in the first innings.

“He played just the one cover drive against Moeen Ali, that too off a ball that was pitched really up. He played the cover drive very early in the first innings and got beaten but played the cover drive only after his fifty in the second innings,” added Gambhir.

Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Virat Kohli was selective in his strokeplay and showed a great defensive game.

“When the ball was short, he played the shots off the back foot. But the best thing that was seen was his defence. He looked very solid while defending. If your defence is strong on such a wicket, you will get the bad balls. But if you try to score runs of every delivery, you can get into trouble,” said Gambhir.

The 39-year-old signed off by observing that Virat Kohli did not dance down the track to play defensively, which was the case when Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara batted.

“He kept his front foot floating, went forward and back. He doesn’t step out to defend the ball, which is a very good thing. Rahane and Pujara do that but Virat Kohli looks to attack whenever he steps out and that was the biggest thing seen in this inning,” concluded Gambhir.

Virat Kohli demonstrated how one can bat on a turning track without resorting to the sweep shot. His innings was in contrast to that of Ravichandran Ashwin, who was more aggressive in his approach and employed sweeps and aerial hits to unsettle the English spinners.

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