Virat Kohli needs to develop a response off the back foot: Sanjay Bangar

Virat Kohli

The Indian team ended the first day of the Boxing Day Test on a solid note. The openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal added 117 runs for the first wicket. Mayank made a half-century, while Rahul became only the second Indian opener to score a century in South Africa. Virat Kohli made 35 runs off 94 balls before getting dismissed. Ajinkya Rahane, who was selected over Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari remained not-out with 40 runs across his name.

India had a lot of positives to take away from the first day. However, Kohli’s dismissal was one thing that the think thank might be talking about. He was looking all set in the middle and marching towards a big score. But, an outside off delivery bowled by Lungi Ngidi disturbed his concentration as it caught an outside edge of his bat and traveled to Wiaan Mulder standing at first slip.

Former Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar has said that Kohli needs to develop a “response off the back foot” and not play everything on the front foot.

But for me, Virat Kohli relies on driving the ball: Bangar

“(It) could well be a mental error in the execution part at least as far as him going after that wide half-volley is concerned,” Bangar said on Star Sports. But for me, he relies on driving the ball. Against quicker attacks on seaming pitches, you require one more game. You can’t only rely on the front foot shots. If he only relies on that particular shot, the bowlers will continue to drag him wider and wider and hope they find the outside edge,” Bangar added.

“It will be worth it if Virat Kohli can give a thought of developing some sort of a response of the back foot as well. Otherwise, he just seems to be preoccupied with scoring runs off the front foot.”

Kohli last scored a century in November 2019 against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. Since then, he has failed to reach this milestone on several occasions. His dismissal in the first Test has extended his lean patch with the bat.