Ahead of the WTC final, Sachin Tendulkar dismissed criticism of Virat Kohli’s weakness outside the off-stump. But according to some experts, it had affected Kohli’s performance in the 2014 England tour.
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar opined that the area outside the off-stump bothers almost all batsmen. It is not specific to Virat Kohli. Moreover, Tendulkar believes that a high-caliber batsman like Kohli would have a plan to deal with the issue. The Indian skipper would just need to assess the problem and tighten up the game at that point. Tendulkar also suggested that on the crease, Kohli could either adjust his stance or do minor changes that the bowler won’t pick. It would help him in playing the ball with a better success rate.
In the 2014 England tour, Kohli had scored just 134 runs at an average of 13.4. James Anderson had successfully exploited his weakness around the off-stump.
After returning from England, Virat Kohli had some sessions with Tendulkar. In those sessions, Tendulkar gave him pointers on big strides and forward press against pacers. It helped Kohli evolve as a batsman for the Indian Team. Thereby, when he returned for the England tour in 2018, he topped the runs chart. Kohli had scored almost 600 runs at an average of 59.3 on the 2018 England tour.
Sachin Tendulkar discusses his Sydney plan in the 2004 Australia tour
During India’s Australia tour, even a legendary batsman like Sachin Tendulkar had issues around the off-stump area. His performance had not been up to the mark until the fourth Test.
It was during the fourth Test that he had decided to stop driving and let the Australians bowl at him. Tendulkar tested the patience of Australian bowlers by leaving the shot. It gave him the flexibility to move from plan A to plan B and respond to different challenges.
Tendulkar had made an unbeaten 241 during the 2004 Australia tour. His performance helped India retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
In the 2021 England tour, the Indian team would play a one-off Test against New Zealand in the WTC final. Afterward, the team would face England for a five-match test series.