Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim has said that Virat Kohli needs to “ponder over his shot selection”. Karim’s remarks come after the Indian skipper failed to convert yet another start into a score of substance, as he edged Lungi Ngidi to first slip after chasing a wide delivery on the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion against South Africa.
The Indian skipper has now gone without a century in Test cricket since the pink-ball Test in Kolkata against Bangladesh in November 2019. Karim stated that Kohli will certainly consult the technical issues with head coach Rahul Dravid, who has plenty of experience of playing in South Africa, having led India to their first-ever Test win in the nation.
“He (Kohli), over the years, has been a dominant and an authoritative batter. And we haven’t seen that characteristic of his since last 2-3 years. Though, he has to ponder over his shot selection. When he’s moving past the initial period, he feels that this is the moment to score a big one. And that’s when he’s getting out. And I feel that this may be a worrying factor and he has to work on this,” Karim said on his Khelneeti podcast on YouTube.
“Virat will definitely now have to discuss with Dravid regarding how he can stimulate situations, how he practice against different kinds of bowlers,” he added.
Kohli looked in good rhythm for his 35 in Centurion, but it was once again the story of wasting his start after doing the hard work of getting his eyes in. Karim reckoned that Kohli would be “hurting” by his inability to convert the starts into a knock of substance, something he used to do so effectively in the past.
“The stats would’ve been hurting Virat Kohli a lot. Any batter can get dismissed below 10 runs which means he’s not set yet. However, if a player is getting out after scoring 10+ runs, means he has settled. And a player like Virat Kohli, who has scored numerous tons in his prime form, he isn’t able to do that now. It now depends on how he curbs his attacking instincts in order to get past his ongoing lean phase.”