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Virat Kohli's South Africa woes continue, Gavaskar offers solution

Virat Kohli isn't enjoying any home comfort against South Africa, who seem to have the Indian skipper's number in the Test series on tracks made to home team's order.

Cricketnext Staff |November 25, 2015, 5:45 PM IST
Virat Kohli's South Africa woes continue, Gavaskar offers solution

Virat Kohli isn't enjoying any home comfort against South Africa, who seem to have the Indian skipper's number in the Test series on tracks made to home team's order.

India's tactics to spin a web around the Proteas may have reaped the desired benefits as they lead the four-Test series 1-0, but the sudden change in nature of tracks seemed to have unsettled an otherwise prolific Kohli.

Batting at Sachin Tendulkar's No. 4 spot in Test cricket, Kohli is the point person for the top three and the middle order below him, expected to build on good starts or steady the ship when rocked at the top.

In the three and a bit India innings this spin-friendly, rain-marred series has seen, Kohli has been at the receiving end, unable to sort out South African pacers and getting out cheaply.

Though none other than Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja have been able to put up any sort of resistance on the 'sub-standard' pitches on offer this series, Kohli's performance remains disappointed, and according to batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, it's technically flawed.

On Wednesday, after his two failures (1 and 29) in Mohali, Kohli looked to have done all the donkey work to finally leave his mark in the series. But after a hard vigil of 55 balls on another dust bowl in the third Test at Nagpur, Kohli was ejected by Morne Morkel for 22 - playing a delivery he should have had no business with.

On all three occasions, India were bowled out cheaply - 200 and 201 in Mohali and 215 in the first innings at Nagpur on Wednesday. Only a day's play was possible in the second Test at Bengaluru, in which India reached 80 for no loss after bowling SA out cheaply.

Kohli's dismissal on Wednesday, caught behind by wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, disappointed Gavaskar, who was doing TV commentary at that moment and went on to point out the "weaknesses" plaguing Kohli's batting.

"You can see all the weaknesses of Virat Kohli. His bat is going hard at the ball, and I think his balance is not quite there. One of the problems with that wide stance that he has is that the balance is not there," Gavaksar said on air.

The Indian legend went on to pin-point Kohli's shuffle in his dismissal on Wednesday and then advised the Test captain to shorten his stance.

"Standing on middle stump, he went outside the off-stump with that shuffle, and he is playing again around the sixth or the seventh stump, deliveries that he does not need to play. I believe if he can shorten that stance, just a little bit, his balance will be that much better," Gavaskar explained.

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