Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has urged Indian skipper Virat Kohli to take a cue from KL Rahul’s innings on Thursday and play with soft hands in his upcoming knocks.
Rahul was India’s best batter on Day 2 of the Nottingham Test, remaining unbeaten 57 from 151 balls. Kohli, on the other hand, fell for a first-ball duck to James Anderson as he went fishing outside the off-stump.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Raja insisted that great players can also learn from younger ones in the team and improve their game further. Comparing Rahul and Kohli’s innings on Day 2 of the first Test, the former Pakistan skipper analyzed:
“When KL Rahul was batting, there was proper alignment in his game. He was getting close to the ball, knew where his off-stump was. That is how batsmen need to bat in such conditions. Sometimes great players can also learn from younger ones. Virat Kohli can also learn from the way Rahul batted with soft hands. Kohli must not play with hard hands going ahead in the series. He needs to give himself time to settle in.”
Looking ahead to Day 3, Raja added that a quick half-century from Rishabh Pant could put India in command again. He said:
“England made a very good comeback after KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s rock-solid opening partnership. Anderson’s twin strikes brought England right back. But, if Rishabh Pant can fire and score a quick half-century and Rahul can go on to make a century, India can gain a massive advantage.”
Pujara, Kohli got good deliveries but India’s No. 3 displayed poor footwork: Ramiz Raja
After a great start, India lost their way as Anderson dismissed Kohli and Pujara off consecutive deliveries. While Raja admitted that both batters got good balls, he opined that Pujara is lacking when it comes to his footwork. The former cricketer explained:
“Cheteshwar Pujara looked iffy out in the middle and ended up edging a ball outside the off-stump. Virat Kohli also played at the ball with hard hands. Both the deliveries were very good but Pujara’s footwork is weak. He is getting out too many times while standing at the crease. He is having to use the shoulder and arms to go on the front foot, which is causing him to lose control.”
India went from 97 for no loss to 112 for 4 as they lost their way after a good start. The visitors ended the rain-curtailed day on 125 for 4.