Credit Anderson & Co for their homework on Kohli: Coach Sharma

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By Khurram Habib

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) England bowling attack’s ability to bowl in right areas consistently without giving loose deliveries has made batting difficult for Virat Kohli who has looked good in the innings he has played, says his former coach Rajkumar Sharma.

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The 32-year-old India No. 4 batsman has aggregated 124 in the five innings of the first three Tests at an average of 24.8.

Sharma, who coached Kohli in his formative years and 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.

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“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.

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“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 to media in a virtual interaction.

“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.

–IANS

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