Salman Butt stated that India will need a big hundred from Virat Kohli to make a comeback in the ongoing five-match Test series against England. The former Pakistani skipper added that Kohli lacks concentration in the series, making it difficult for him to survive the harsh conditions.
After claiming a 151-run win against England at Lord’s, India failed to continue their good run in the third Test, losing the game to the hosts by an innings and 76 runs. The top order fought very hard to avoid an innings defeat at Headingley, but the England bowlers beat the batsmen to take their first win in the running series. Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli contributed half a century.
Kohli’s 55 runs from 125 balls in the second innings at Headingley was his highest score of the series. He has now gone 50 innings without international hundreds.
Former Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt, estimated India will need a big hundred from Kohli to get back into the ongoing series. He added that the veteran players have yet to play the innings they are known for.
“India must pull up its socks. Their experienced players are ready for some serious blows. On this tour they haven’t done it so far. If not, India will not be in a comfort zone. It will be important for Virat Kohli to score a big hundred. Rahane and Pujara have the occasional score, but as such they haven’t taken a big hit,” he said.
Butt further stated that Kohli’s lack of concentration while hitting causes him to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
“When he was in form, Kohli scored a hundred after a hundred. Yes, his free time has taken longer than expected, but he has been aggressive as always. Kohli looks good, but somehow he lacks concentration, that’s why he’s chasing those balls outside the stump. With Kohli that is usually not the case. He has excellent concentration levels, but in this series he was fired the same way every time.
“When he rides outside the stump or even defends, he plays a little bit away from his body. If he manages to play closer to the body and does that consistently, the runs are just around the corner.”
Butt praised Rohit Sharma for his disciplined and well-thought-out approach to the series, stating that the opener has the ability to score even bigger, which he hasn’t done yet.
“Rohit Sharma looks great and has hit well. However, he has the ability to score 150-200, which he hasn’t done yet. Unless these senior players come in with big punches, India will continue to struggle,” he said.
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