Indian captain Virat Kohli may be struggling for form in the ongoing Test series against England but former Test cricketer-turned-commentator W V Raman feels he should try to nudge others from behind to get the best out of them instead of leading from the front.
“If I was Virat’s coach, I would tell him: ‘Virat (Kohli), enough of this leading from the front. Just try and nudge the others from behind and get them to do what they can deliver. I’m sure you’ll be back at your best in no time,”
Raman said in a virtual media interaction arranged by Sony Sports.
“He did show shades of his old game and fluency in the last innings. I’m sure he will definitely do well in the next two Test matches,” the former India cricketer said.
Kohli has only 124 runs from five innings with just one half-century to his name and has now gone more than 50 innings without an international century.
Raman also said Kohli was in a situation similar to the one faced by maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
“See we cannot really fault him. What can generally be the norm in life and other spheres might not apply in cricket always. I mean, what has happened is, there is a lot of pressure on Virat himself. We pay a lot of attention to everything he does. We know he is one of the best batsmen so we expect a lot from him.
“It’s similar to how it was with Sachin Tendulkar when he was playing. Even 95 was considered a failure,” he said.
About Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who too has not been in the best of form, he said the Mumbai batsman is experienced enough but he just has to work on his approach and method to succeed.
“Perhaps you can take a leaf out of the approach of KL Rahul in Nottingham. He was playing very close, coming down the track, looking to leave as much as he wanted to play, which is good batting. He also executed what was expected of him. It also gave confidence to the dressing room that this is something that can be done.
“So perhaps it’s a case of each batter working out on an approach that will help him overcome the conditions. Rahane is experienced, has played international cricket and also got runs abroad. It’s just that he has to work on his approach and method to succeed,” he said.
Asked about the chances of the Indian women’s cricket team, which would be touring Australia soon, he said: “I’ll tell you what. If there is anybody that can challenge the Aussies or the English girls, it’s our girls. I can’t see any other team doing that.”
Raman, who was the former coach of the women’s team, however felt having not played a day-night Test match before, it could hurt the Indian women.
“One is the novelty factor because they have not played a Test match with a pink ball. That I think is the novelty factor, and they don’t know what to expect in terms of the seam movement or the swing that the pink ball does provide to the bowlers. So, that will be different.
“The other thing is that the Australians are a little bit more aggressive than the English girls, and they do have quick bowlers who can bowl at 125-130 kmph. So, that is going to be a challenge, and there will be extra bounce. We’ll have to see how the Indian team counters it,” Raman said.