What’s the story?
Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar has thrown all his support behind captain Virat Kohli even as the skipper is struggling to get going in the ongoing series. Bangar also believes that Kohli has scored so many runs in the recent home season that one should not read too much into the failures in the 2 Test matches. The Indian captain has also been struggling with his DRS reviews and owing to the many factors he is under extreme pressure.
"Virat's batting has been outstanding. So we should not be commenting on one or two failures when he has been so successful. Virat's mindset is that he will learn from failures. This is his greatness. In the coming matches, he will perform well," Bangar said after the end of day 3.
Kohli came into series brimming with confidence and on the back 3 double centuries but has struggled to find runs in the two test matches and has looked out of sorts against the Australian attack. His approach with the bat has drawn flak from experts.
The Indian captain was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in the second innings of the ongoing Test match when he was adjudged LBW by on-field umpire. However, Kohli reviewed but even after several replays the third umpire could not find ‘conclusive’ evidence to overturn the decision and hence the captain was sent packing, much to ire of the public and Kohli himself.
Bangar too expressed his surprise over the decision but conceded that the Indian team is still learning to work with the DRS and since the rules have been tweaked around it would take some time before the players get a hang of the things.
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This series was always going to be a tussle between the two captains in Virat Kohli and Steve Smith as both of them are the leading batsmen for their respective teams. However, Smith has pulled away from Kohli who looks to be playing under pressure which is quite surprsing considering the form he displayed all through the home season.
He was dismissed in Pune in both innings without offering any stroke and his lean patch carried on to Bangalore where he managed bleak scores of 12 and 15 in the two innings respectively.
The Indian batting is dependent on Virat Kohli and hence when the captain fails it has a bearing on the rest of the team and it is evident from the run of low scores the Indian team has managed. However, the other senior players in Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane put up their hands and played with a lot of patience on a dodgy Bangalore surface to vring India back into the contest and Kohli could take solace from their performances.
Day 4 could well decide the outcome of the match and the series and the Indian captain would want his batsmen to carry on the same fight they showed on Day 3.
Kohli had a surreal 2016 where he mastered all 3 formats and it is only natural that expectations rise from him. However, any batsman is bound to go through a rough phase and it hence becomes imperative that he does not take his eyes of the basics and keeps at it and Kohli would know all this too well.
There is quality in Virat Kohli and Indian fans would hope that their captain returns doing what he does best which is to score runs and stamp authority all over the game.