Indian captain Virat Kohli appeared to be ‘fine-tuning’ his skills on Saturday ahead of the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand. The International Cricket Council (ICC) uploaded a video of him practicing his go-to shot – the cover drive.
Virat Kohli, arguably, plays the shot more aesthetically than anyone else in world cricket. In the video, the 32-year-old, dressed in the kit specially made for the summit clash, can be seen uncorking full strides and playing on both sides of the extra-cover position.
You can watch the clip here:
Virat Kohli scores over 18% of his runs through the cover drive. However, the shot has often backfired on the Indian skipper, with the 2014 tour of England being a prime example. James Anderson kept him on a leash with his nagging 4th stump line throughout the 5-match Test series that year, which culminated in disaster for the right-hander.
However, Virat Kohli has evolved his game since then and has hedged his bets to a variety of strokes on all sides of the ground. He has also learned to control his urge to play the cover drive from outside the body, thus making his technique more robust.
The upcoming WTC final against New Zealand’s fabulous 4-pronged attack of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson will perhaps be the ultimate test in this regard for the Indian skipper.
Virat Kohli’s record against New Zealand and England
Indian fans will take heart from Virat Kohli’s numbers against the Kiwis. In 9 games, he has collected over 700 runs, including three tons and as many fifties at an average of 51.53.
However, the average drops to just 36.35 when he plays in England. Virat Kohli has two centuries and three fifties in the country, all of them coming during the 2018 tour.
It’s no secret that Virat Kohli hasn’t scored a single century since November of 2019. There will be no bigger stage than Southampton on June 18 to finally break the drought.