Home News Strategist Virat Kohli not impressive at all: Gautam Gambhir | Cricket News

Strategist Virat Kohli not impressive at all: Gautam Gambhir | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir praised New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi for his performance against India in their T20 World Cup match on Sunday.
In his column for the Times of India, Gambhir wrote, “Well, the only time Ish Sodhi was tested last Sunday was during the post-match press conference. An Indian reporter asked him to reply to a question in Hindi. Despite that awkward looking beard, Sodhi managed to look cute as he replied: “My Hindi is going to be tested here, sir. If my mum is watching this and I say something slightly wrong, she’ll give me a hard time.” Apart from this, Sodhi was A grade all the way. He made both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli look ordinary in his extra-ordinary spell of four overs for 17 runs with two wickets.”
Ish Sodhi bowled an impressive spell of 2/17 in the middle overs and picked up the key wickets of Rohit Sharma (14) and Virat Kohli (9) as both tried to break New Zealand’s grip but holed out in the deep.
“But the question is whether Sodhi and other New Zealanders bowled well or India batted below par. I am the first one to acknowledge opposition’s supremacy but after seeing Kohli and his men play the way they did on Sunday, I’d say they made Sodhi and Co. looked better than they were. From a distance it seemed there was no clear planning, role allocation and proper assessment of the conditions. Clearly, they were searching for a mountain of a score. Lack of understanding of the pitch meant they were in pursuit of a score around 170-180. As a result, Indian batsmen kept hitting in the air like millionaires and folded for 110,” Gambhir added.
India’s much-trumpeted batters flopped for the second time — after a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan — reaching only 110/7 after New Zealand chose to bowl.
“If you look closely, the Indian batting line-up is well suited for these conditions. There is Kohli, whose game is built around hitting the gaps and running hard. There is KL Rahul, who can set the grass on fire with his ground strokes and still look set for a batting beauty pageant. Although they did not play Suryakumar Yadav in this game, he too can manufacture gaps even after the power play is over. In summary, we needed more application from the batsmen and not some sensational hitting,” Gambhir opined.
Gambhir also slammed Kohli for his strategies in the match against New Zealand.
“Kohli has never impressed me as a strategist. Once again, he was a disappointment on Sunday. For starters, why did he change the team from the one that played against Pakistan? If that was not enough, he also changed the batting order and had Ishan Kishan open in place of Rohit. I have played long enough with MS Dhoni to know that he would have nothing to do with these knee-jerk changes just after one game. And what I also understand is that the other support staff hardly challenge Kohli’s calls,” Gambhir asserted.
Gambhir suggested that the Indian team needs to change their approach and attitude in the forthcoming games.
“Our campaign is almost done barring some major upsets. Before the upsets happen in our favour, we also need to get past the spin and courage of Afghanistan today. The evidence on offer so far is not too encouraging, but then it is sport at the end of the day. India just needs to tone down their panic, change the brand of cricket they had played in last two games and present more positive body language. Trust me it doesn’t take too much,” Gambhir concluded.