Without revealing much, Moon Ali has said that England have a plan to stop Virat Kohli. It’s nothing really, just that they will press the runs and hope that the pressure will bring about the wicket. But one wonders, whether on the inside, he hopes to take Kohli down on his own. Because he’s done it before.
Moeen, with his big turning off break, clean bowled Kohli in Tests as well. Kohli tried a cover drive on his stretched front-foot and was bowled once in a Test in Chennai.
And in May of this year, ever since the ball was turning decently Pune On the surface, Kohli tries to wrist it by turning it to the side. But he completely missed it. It swung rapidly from outside the off-stump to pass through the bat-pad gap and disturb the furniture. Moeen clenched his fist and was one of those people on the pitch when Kohli walked away.
He had tried to cut off an outside delivery that was running straight, and was beaten up. Then one swiftly swung his pad for wide. The pitch was helping in the turn and as Moeen corrected his line starting outside the off-stump, he got his man.
The Adelaide pitch has shown signs of assisting in the turn and playing touch slows. Apart from being bowled out, Moon is also likely to see Kohli driving uphill for short extra-cover on a slightly slick surface, where the ball may stall a bit.
Last year, during India Vs. England Moeen vs Kohli face off in the Test series, Chepauk. There, the England official had kept the cover area empty, bowled a bowled out and pushed Kohli to play a cover-drive, his bread-and-butter shot. The ball went away, turned sharply after pitching and left the gate to hit the top of the off-stump. The India captain was stunned to the extent of disbelief. Despite being bold, he stood there for a long time. Even the on-field umpires went for referrals. But there was no doubt about it. Kohli fell in the trap and got out for a duck.
For Kohli, having arguably the best cover-drive in the business, the vacant off-side spot was too great a temptation to resist.
What did Moeen say now?
“Top players, when they are in, it is difficult to stop them in T20 cricket. You have to plan to slow them down and then maybe take a wicket,” said Moeen ahead of the semi-final against India on Tuesday.
“He is playing well, so we have to stick to our plans, whatever they may be. I’ve played a lot with and against these guys now and that’s why you know a lot.” “I think as a team, we prepare for everything that the day will bring, we know we How are you going to bowl to him and stick to those plans.
“It also depends on how he is batting at that time, his own confidence. In terms of batting, he is batting really well. I feel like he is back at his best since the Asia Cup. He feels like he has found his mojo again and it happens in every player’s career. He is playing well, so we have to stick to our plans, whatever they may be. Top players, when they are in, it is difficult to stop them in T20 cricket. India are obviously used to playing under pressure in front of a lot of people.”
Moeen dismisses Kohli Chennai Test brings back memories of Michael Vaughan’s off-break Sachin Tendulkar At Trent Bridge in 2002. Vaughan was only a part-time spinner, but he produced a moment of magic against the master batsman – the ball pitching into the rough and breaking back sharply to penetrate between bat and pad and hit the off-stump. Tendulkar was then stunned while batting on 92.
“It is not so difficult to bowl an Indian legend through the gate as an off spinner!!!” Vaughan had tweeted after Kohli’s dismissal in May.