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EngvsInd: Virat Kohli Questioned about Captaincy

Where has Kohli’s batting gone wrong? 

He appears to have aggressive against swing bowlers, in which he is unsure where his off-stump is. He’s tinkering with deliveries that he should avoid. Bowlers have played on Kohli’s ego by challenging him to play the ball, which he has done, albeit hesitantly.

In England, batsmen on either side of him in the order, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane have both got out similarly, causing a middle-order crisis. Both batsmen have shown greater patience and no great urgency to establish who is boss.

Kohli has been conscious of playing close to his body and meeting the ball under his eye since the 2018 tour of England when he did not get out to James Anderson once while making two centuries and a 97. He’s been leaving the outswingers well on this tour, but he’s gotten himself into a tangle over the ball, which threatens to leave him but stays online.

Kohli has the mental and physical tools to solve the problem. But, with back-to-back Tests on the horizon, the pressure is on him to nail his batting, team selection, and tactics.

‘When his coworkers saw what he was eating, they ordered the same thing.’ 

Kohli’s and his team’s celebrations, which have been full-throated, full-blooded, and unabashedly self-congratulatory, with the occasional verbal jab at the opposition, have at times detracted from the performance. Kohli makes up for his lack of tactical nous by ensuring that his team is on the same page and plays with aggression and self-belief.

Kohli has had a stronger sense of ‘team spirit’ than most Indian captains. He’s instilled his mantra in the team: exceptional fitness, high fielding standards, and the significance of Test cricket.

Is India’s aggression going too far?

Kohli, who is 32 years old, is suddenly being questioned about both his batting and his captaincy. At Lord’s, he got the second part right, giving England 60 overs to save the Test, a task they couldn’t handle.

However, he may have been duped by the brownish appearance of the wicket at Headingley, opting to bat first and suffering the double humiliation of being bowled out for 78 and watching England pile on more than five times that total.

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