India vs England, 1st Test: Virat Kohli vs Joe Root in battle of the heavyweights

first_imgThe last time Virat Kohli and Joe Root played against each other in whites, the Indian captain comfortably outscored his English counterpart with 655 runs in five Tests including a hundred and a double hundred as the hosts clinched the series 4-0.Root however, was also in very good form and ended up as the second highest run-scorer with 491 runs at 49.10 with one hundred and four half-centuries.Two years prior to that, England thrashed the visiting Indian side 3-1 under MS Dhoni with Root emerging as the highest run-getter with 518 runs in five Tests at 103.60 with two centuries and three fifties.Also Read – I’ll be surprised if India doesn’t win Test series vs England: Shane WatsonKohli was nowhere near Root on that tour as he endured his worst form in Tests scoring just 134 runs at a poor average of 13.40. His highest score in that series was just 39 as England bowlers kept dismissing Kohli outside the off-stump.But Kohli is no longer the same batsman that he was in 2014. A lot has changed since that tour. Today, he is No.2 in the ICC’s rankings for Test batsmen and is the only captain with six double hundreds to his name.Also Read – Virat Kohli says he’s not in a frame of mind to prove himself in any countryHe has played 37 Tests in this period and scored 15 centuries, including six double hundreds. He, in fact, is the only captain to record six double centuries in Test cricket. He has amassed 3699 runs at an incredible average of 64.89 and has also scored 7 fifties. He has also captained India in 35 Tests with 21 wins.advertisementAlso Read – We have strong plans in place for Kohli, says RootAll the talk prior to this series however, has still revolved around Kohli’s Test record in England and how he will perform this time around.Even after four years, all eyes are on Kohli and Root as India get ready to lock horns with England in a five-Test series on English soil with just a few hours to go before the first ball of the series is bowled.Also Read – Controversial? Adil Rashid in England playing XI for first Test vs India1st Test vAugust 1, 2018Edgbaston IST#ENGvIND (@BCCI) August 1, 2018The cricketing fraternity is expecting Kohli to turn his fortunes around in England and lead from the front with his bat in this series. But the captain himself is not bothered about what awaits him over the next one month.India vs England: Virat Kohli has improved since 2014, says James AndersonKohli is not unduly worried about proving himself – even if it’s in a country where India have traditionally not done well.”Back in the day when I did not know better, these things used to bother me because I used to read a lot. But honestly, I genuinely do not read anything (anymore),” Kohli told the media on the eve of the first Test.Adil Rashid hit out at Michael Vaughan like a spoilt brat: Geoffrey Boycott”My motive is to score runs & take Indian cricket forward” – @imVkohli #TeamIndia (@BCCI) July 31, 2018″When I walk out to bat, I have the bat in mind, not people on the outside who predict things. I need to be in the most convinced and clear mental space that I can be and that happens when I am focussed on what I need to do.”Tendulkar feels Kohli ‘is in a good space’ ahead of 1st Test vs EnglandRoot knows Kohli won’t lose his wicket as cheaply as he did four years ago and therefore, has set new plans in motion to dismiss the 29-year-old.”From our perspective, we’d love similar form but we know how good a player he is and what he is capable of. He’s come a long way in the last few years in this format in particular.India vs England: ‘Virat Kohli will not look back after his first 20 runs'”We feel we have some strong plans in place for him but ultimately when you play against the world’s best players they generally have answers,” said Root on the eve of the first Test.England’s highest Test wicket-taker, James Anderson also knows that it will be difficult for the hosts to dominate a much-improved Kohli now.Asked if Anderson could have a similar impact against Kohli when the two teams face off again, the pacer told Sky Sports: “Not really… it’s a long time ago, a lot of cricket has happened since then and he’s improved as a player in that time.”advertisementVirat Kohli since England Tests of 2014: 15 hundreds, 3699 runs in 37 TestsBut more than his record as a batsman, Kohli himself, will be looking to re-write history as captain and become only the fourth Indian skipper after Ajit Wadekar (1971), Kapil Dev (1986) and Rahul Dravid (2007) to win a series in England. Personal form won’t matter to him if the team is performing well.Virat Kohli in with a chance to upstage Steve Smith as best Test batsmanOver the last 86 years, India have played 17 Test series in England, winning only three. More significantly, India have won a mere six Tests in the country.The conditions and stats at Edgbaston heavily favour the hosts and only time will tell if India can change register their first win on this ground.last_img

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