Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has explained the ideal lengths to dismiss the cream of the Indian batting order in the ongoing five-match Test series. He feels England pacers haven’t got to change their plans much as Indian batsmen kept getting out in the same fashion.
Indian openers have been the only shining light in the batting order. However, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are getting out in the repetitive fashion throughout the series.
“And what will concern India – at least until Shardul Thakur connected with a few – was the repetitive nature of their dismissals. Basically, England haven’t had to rethink many of their plans,” wrote Hussain in his column for the Daily Mail after India were dismissed for 191 in their first innings of the fourth Test match at The Oval.
Kohli scored a fifty in the first innings of The Oval Test and the rest of the batting order failed to apply themselves on the pitch.
“You bowl a certain length to Rohit, but a bit fuller to KL Rahul. To Cheteshwar Pujara, you aim at fourth stump. To Kohli, you drag back your length a touch. And with Chris Woakes making a welcome return to the side, England had the perfect attack for these conditions,” Hussain wrote.
Kohli hasn’t scored a single international century since November 2019 and Nasser believes a certain height has troubled Kohli a lot.
“But Robinson has got him three times in this series, which is a great feather in his cap, and it may have something to do with his release point. Since the start of 2020, India average only 18 against bowlers with a release point above 2.15m – the likes of New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson, as well as Craig Overton and Robinson here – so in that sense he’s exploiting a bit of a weakness,” he added.
However, the former skipper came in support of Kohli and said one shouldn’t be too critical for Kohli as he is adjusting his technique according to the need.
“Having said all that, we shouldn’t be too hard on Kohli. The amount of cricket that both these sides play – more any other teams in the world – can be exhausting, and Kohli bears the extra burden of captaining India, with all the demands that come with the job.”
“It’s no great surprise if he starts to play some tired shots outside off stump. The fact is, he still found time in an impossibly busy schedule to tinker with his game. And, for a while, it was a joy to watch,” Hussain said.