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Anderson explains the major difference between Virat Kohli of 2014 & 2018

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

James Anderson, speaking on Test Match Special, highlighted the changes Virat Kohli made to his game which helped him come back as “a completely different player” on the 2018 England tour.

On his first Test trip to England in 2014, Kohli could only muster a total of 134 runs in 10 innings, struggling especially against Anderson, who dismissed him four times in the series. In 2018, however, the India batsman finished as the top run-scorer of the five-match series with 593 runs.

Anderson pointed out that Kohli, in 2018, was leaving the ball much better, and waited for the bowlers to come at him rather than taking the charge himself. The Englishman, who recently became the first quick to take 600 Test wickets, is now looking forward to recommencing the battle with Kohli if England’s scheduled tour of India in 2021 goes ahead as planned.

“It’s always tough bowling against batsmen of that quality,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I had some success against him in 2014; he came back a completely different player in 2018 and it was incredible. It’ll be a tough battle in that respect, but something I do enjoy against the best players. That’s who you want to get out as a bowler.

“I just felt like he left the ball really well. The first time he came over, when I was bowling an out-swinger, he’d try and chase it a little bit early on. So that brought the edge and slips into play. I just felt like he left a lot better [in 2018] and was a lot more patient, waited for you to come to him because he is very strong off his legs. And then once he got in, he’ll start playing a bit more expansively. I just thought his all-round game, both his mental approach and his technique was just that little bit better.”

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