Test match batting is experiencing a downfall. That’s what Team India skipper Virat Kohli felt in an era when pitches are result-oriented, and bowlers are showcasing their A1 game.
Over the last two years, different teams suffered a massive collapse. England were skittled out for just 58 as New Zealand’s swing and seam completely outclassed them. New Zealand went down from 61 for 1 to 90 all out, blown away by Pakistan’s spin bowling. India themselves faced problems on a lush green pitch at Lord’s, making only 107 runs during their tour of England in 2018.
When asked by Ian Bishop about whether modern-day batsmen have been living up to the expectations, this is what Kohli had to say –
“Well, if I have to be brutally honest, I don’t think us batsmen have lived up to the standard. We have travelled a lot over the past year-and-a-half and it’s been challenging. We lost in England but won in Australia because the batsmen pulled up.”
Back then, Cheteshwar Pujara, the team’s No. 3 mainstay, had an outstanding Test series in Australia. He scored 521 runs in seven innings, including three tons against a super-strong Aussie bowling attack.
“As much as individuals stand out, I think it’s about batting well as a team and every team wants to put up a strong total on the board for the bowlers to come in and capitalize,” the Indian captain added.
In spite of India being the No. 1 Test side, Kohli felt that there were challenging times ahead for the batsmen. Indeed, with bowlers like Jofra Archer, Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins (who are shining in The Ashes) around, the competition is bound to be tough.
“The bowlers have really come into their own,” the star batsman said. He also stated that the West Indies’ “bowling attack is as lethal as anyone’s in home conditions.”
“So we know we’re up against a big challenge here (West Indies) in red-ball cricket. It’s always going to be hard work, especially in Test cricket, when the bowling group knows what they’re doing and that happens to be the case with all teams around the world.”
“People have been talking about Test cricket not being relevant or dying down but for me the competition has gone up at least two-fold over the last couple of years. It’s really up to the players to take the challenge up and go for victories. That’s obviously going to be the essence of this Test championship as well. There’ll hardly be any boring draws, there’ll be exciting draws because everyone is gonna want those extra points. So yeah, I think batsmanship is always going to be hard at Test level but even harder now in the Test championship because every decision is going to count in the larger scheme of things,” Kohli concluded.