Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Glenn McGrath was one of the best pace bowlers to ever play the game of cricket, but what would be his gameplan if he were going up against India captain Virat Kohli?
Kohli was in sublime form during India’s recent tour of South Africa, especially during the ODI series, where he averaged 186 with the bat.
With the 29-year-old scoring three centuries and a fifty, India won the series 5-1 and subsequently secured their first-ever bilateral ODI series win in South Africa.
Given that Kohli has the second-most hundreds in ODI history, McGrath was asked what strategy he would use against the Indian skipper.
“Kohli is a quality batsman, a confidence player, and as a bowler, I would cut off his scoring areas and build pressure,” the legendary Australia seamer told SportStar. “He is good through the off-side, I would block him there. He is good off his legs too and again I would deny him runs in that area.
“Kohli is solid technically, has an aggressive attitude, goes about his cricket with passion and I would like to play on his mind, prevent him from scoring freely.
“And I would bowl an in-between length at Kohli, neither too full nor too short and cramp him for room.”
McGrath also elaborated on some of the different approaches he would consider employing.
“For instance, you could have an aggressive field and bowl a defensive line. There are areas to score but the ball is not there to be hit. It forces mistakes,” he said.
In regards to trying to hit the top of off stump, the 48-year-old said: “The length for this depends from wicket to wicket and from batsman to batsman. When I bowl this line, I would want a full slip cordon. There is nothing worse for a bowler than to see the ball going through an empty area in the cordon.”
McGrath is also well aware of all the comparisons between Kohli and the iconic Sachin Tendulkar. However, the Australian seamer admitted that he doesn’t like comparing the two players.
“I don’t like to compare eras. Every era makes it own demands and the pitches, generally, are better for batting these days. Sachin, on his day, could decimate attacks. Kohli is a very attacking batsman too,” he said.
However, McGrath conceded that if Kohli continues scoring at this rate, he could very well surpass Tendulkar’s records.
“If he continues to bat the way he is doing now, he could well go past Sachin’s records,” McGrath said.