Virat Kohli can bring Bazball to India: former England cricketer suggests
Famous English commentator David Lloyd believes Virat Kohli is capable of revolutionalising Indian batting and make them bat how England have started under the leadership of Ben Stokes and the guidance of head coach Brendon McCullum in Test cricket.
For Lloyd, the former England batter, rest of the Indian batters in the line-up can at times be "stats-driven" about their respective games. But Kohli is capable of transforming India's approach to an ultra-aggressive one. Ala Bazball, a term that has gone famous with the shift in England's method to Test match batting under the Stokes-McCullum regime.
Lloyd thinks Virat Kohli can be the inspirational figure to drive a similar change to the one that England have gone through over the past six months, wherein they've batted at well above 6 an over even in Test matches and given their bowlers more time required to pick up 20 wickets.
It was on display in all its glory on a flat pitch in the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan, with Stokes & company posting scores of 657 and 264/7 declared at a brisk rate and securing a 64-run historic win just in the nick of time on Day 5 when the bad light threatened to ruin their plans.
Lloyd on India adapting Bazball via Kohli
Lloyd, who has been in the game for so long, says England's approach to the Test game isn't "totally new" as he has seen the mighty Australians and the West Indies at their peak bat at a significantly higher tempo than the rest of the world.
But he thinks India, a nation that has historically been measured and proficient in their approach to Test match batting, could follow England's suit, provided that the figure of Virat Kohli is given the charge of batting plans by the decision-makers.
"It is not totally new, of course," Lloyd wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. "The Australian team of the 90s were very positive and the great West Indian sides were full of exhilarating stroke-makers. I reckon a team capable of this style now is India. They have all the tools. There has been a suspicion that Indian batters are stats-driven but Virat Kohli is one who could drive this."
Time will tell if Kohli would be able to inspire such a change or not, but the great batter's own strike-rate over the past three years in Test cricket has reflected shackles imposed on his game by the opposition attacks.
Kohli, a naturally freeflowing batter, has had a SR of 42.70 in Tests since the start of 2020 while averaging a measly 27.25. India need him to return to big scoring ways as they approach the final leg of the ongoing World Test Championship cycle, needing wins over Bangladesh and Australia to secure a place in the final next summer.