New Delhi: Rajkumar Sharma, who had coached India captain Virat Kohli during his formative years reckons that the Indian skipper has been playing well since the beginning of the series and credit should be given to the England team who had done their homework and have been bowling well to the right-hander throughout the series. He went on to further add that the hosts have not given any loose deliveries to Kohli and have bowled in the right areas that has made life difficult for the Indian captain.Also Read - 4th Test | Glad to Make it Count: Rohit Sharma on Importance of Open Innings After Oval Triumph
With only 124 runs in the last five innings of the series, Kohli averages 24.8 in the first three Test matches but the 32-year-old looked a lot more comfortable at the crease in the last innings of the Leeds Test where he managed to get a fifty before edging one to first slip. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly Lead Indian Cricket Fraternity Wishes After Virat Kohli And Co. Beat England in 4th Test at Oval
Sharma still keeps a close watch on his one-time ward, echoed England captain Joe Root and said that England need to be complimented for keeping the India captain in check. Also Read - Skipper Virat Kohli Hails Team India Bowling Performance After Memorable Win; Rates it Amongst Top 3 in His Captaincy Stint
“I feel he is playing well since the beginning of the series. Every batsman can get out, you know. England have done their homework, they are bowling in right areas, not giving him loose deliveries,” said Sharma to IANS.
“England is a place where you can get dismissed anytime. The moment the clouds come, the ball moves. The moment the sun is out, the ball stops moving. So you have to concentrate,” added Sharma who feels that Kohli has been decisive.
“He has been decisive, especially in the last innings, about which balls to play, which not to. A batsman gets out only when he makes mistake. Credit to England on their consistency.”
England captain Joe Root on Tuesday complimented his bowlers for keeping Kohli quiet.
“I think a lot of credit has to go to our bowling group. Virat is world-class, there is no doubt about that. I think that is where credit has to go to our bowlers. They have been able to keep him quiet,” said Root ahead of the fourth Test starting on September 2 at Kennington Oval.
“We have to keep finding ways to keep him quiet and build pressure,” added Root.
Sharma said that it is not tough to find out ways of keeping a batsman, even if top-notch, in check nowadays.
“This is an age of videography. You repeatedly see where the batsman is strong, where he is weak,” said the coach.
“Every team prepares ahead of every series. [Team] Coach explains everything. Sometimes it is not easy to execute those things. But somehow England, because they are getting wickets, they are able to execute too. We are also getting under pressure. Because they are getting wickets at regular intervals, they are able to experiment too.
“You have to ensure you don’t chase the ball outside the off-stump. But I have to credit the England bowlers a lot, especially Anderson. What a great bowler he is. He is able to bowl in one particular area for a long time. There is no short ball to cut or half volley to drive. He is consistent and understands the conditions well. He has the art to swing the late. His quality is great.”
Root promised that his bowling attack will continue doing the good work.
“What we have is an extremely good effort from the bowling group. It is something we will continue to do if we want to win this series,” he said.
“We will always keep looking at ways. Hopefully, we can put pressure and contain him (Kohli),” added Root.