The India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 clash on Saturday will have many sub-contests. The most prominent among them being the Virat Kohli‘s batting performance against the fearsome Pakistan cricket team bowling. While former Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has been one of the most consistent batters in the last decade, Pakistan bowling line-up consisting Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan among others can rattle the most fearsome of batter. In this scenario, how will Virat Kohli tackle the Pakistan stars?
Sanjay Bangar, former Indian cricket team start and batting coach, delved into Virat Kohli’s strategies to counter the Pakistan bowling attack and how he has evolved his technique in recent months.
Speaking on Star Sports, fSanjay Bangar spoke on how Virat Kohli is going to counter the Pakistan bowling attack and what kind of tactics he is going to deploy against each bowler. He said: “Yes, Virat Kohli is ready for the Greatest Rivalry in world cricket, India versus Pakistan. The last time these two nations played, Virat came out with a special innings, and that shot versus Haris Rauf will be etched in the memories of cricket lovers for a long, long time. Now, what has Virat Kohli done in the last six to eight months? How has he come out of a little bit of a bad patch wherein he wasn’t scoring big runs? But now he has got into that habit of scoring big runs again.
“Generally, he was sort of lunging towards the ball, making a big stride forward, and because of that, he was getting out a lot in the slip cordon or also was getting out trapped in front of the wicket. So what is he doing now? He is setting up really nice and early, staying still, allowing the ball to come to him. That is one aspect which is going to help him big time, especially against Shaheen Shah Afridi because he gets the ball to swing in late. And if we are watching the ball, letting it come to you, you can actually play it down the ground or play it to mid-on or mid-wicket region; that is where his strength is.”
Bangar also went on to tell what Kohli might be doing against the other Pakistan bowlers. “Against Naseem Shah, because he is not lunging forward, his judgement outside off stump is going to be perfect. And against Haris Rauf, who is sort of back of the length all the time, he can rock onto the back foot or play those pull shots which he did really well in the last Asia Cup. Against the spinners, he has his own methods of scoring runs. Against Shadab Khan, he will look to rock onto the back foot, play between point and cover region, a lot on the back foot,” Bangar said.
“Against Mohammad Nawaz, he will look to use his feet because he is not afraid of doing that. And if the ball is pitched slightly short, then he can rock onto the back foot and explore that area on either side of the deep mid-wicket region. So that’s how Virat Kohli is going to counter the Pakistan bowling, and it is pretty guaranteed that the intensity he generates in these games is going to lift not only his game but also the intensity in this crucial match against Pakistan.”
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