India captain Virat Kohli must use his seam bowlers early against Joe Root to have the best chance of getting him out, according to former England
India captain Virat Kohli must use his seam bowlers early against Joe Root to have the best chance of getting him out, according to former England batsman Ian Bell. Root struck an unbeaten century on the first day of the first Test of the series in India. It was the third century in three matches for the England skipper.
Root was in majestic touch in Chennai, as he thwarted the India attack in a 200-run partnership with Dominic Sibley.
But Bell believes Kohli got his approach wrong to Root.
He reckons a more prominent use of seam bowlers early in the innings can cause the 30-year-old problems.
“I thought from a tactical point of view, the only thing I thought India could have done a bit better was just that first bit when Joe Root was at the crease,” Bell told ESPN Cricinfo.
“When that ball was reverse swinging, could they have gone two or three more overs with the seamers?
“As I said I think Joe Root is the best player of spin England have ever had, he’s much more comfortable.
“I think early in his innings sometimes his footwork can get a little stuck in the crease, and this is picking a real small hole in it, and I thought that might have been an area that India could have exposed a little bit longer before they turned to spin, where Joe is a lot more comfortable.”
Bell believes Root’s ability to sweep must be negated by Kohli and his field placings.
He added: “As I said I think certainly the seamers against him, certainly if it’s reversing.
“Certainly early in his first 20-30 balls, that would be where I would challenge him.
“I can’t remember, certainly an English player, sweeping as well as him.
“I know KP [Kevin Pietersen] could be very brutal with the sweep shot but I can’t remember any other players that have got so much control over it, it never looks like he’s going to make a mistake with it.