Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said “playing across the line” cost Virat Kohli his wicket on Day 1 of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. Kohli, who walked out to a rousing reception from the Chinnaswamy crowd, was looking good till a delivery from off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva kept lower than expected to hit his front pad. In the 28th over of India’s innings, de Silva’s short of a good length delivery turned and kept low, hitting Kohli just above the ankle region and the umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger. A shell-shocked Kohli, who was looking to turn the ball towards the on-side, did not even consider sending it upstairs and walked back after scoring 23 off 48 balls on Saturday.
Reacting to Kohli’s dismissal, Gavaskar said the talismanic right-hander perhaps could have avoided playing that particular shot.
“Today you could say that the shot he played shouldn’t have been played. The trajectory meant, he went on to the backfoot like the first Test in Mohali but this time he played across his front pad, which meant he was always going to struggle. If he missed it, he was always going to be a candidate for LBW, which is exactly what happened. He knew as soon as he missed and the ball hit his pads, he was right in front. He didn’t even look for a referral. So, playing across the line cost him today,” Gavaskar said in the post-Tea show on Star Sports.
Gavaskar also gave credit to the Sri Lanka bowlers and added that the Chinnaswamy pitch was not an easy for the batters.
“Sri Lankan bowlers have bowled well… Jayawickrama settled down after the first over. Every bowler is going to bowl the odd loose ball but they’ve stuck to their task well. The ball is gripping and turning so it isn’t gonna be easy for the batters,” Gavaskar added.
Former India bowler Ajit Agarkar said there’s “very little” that Kohli could have done with that delivery.
“There’s very little that he could’ve done. That partnership with Hanuma Vihari was good. They put a li’ll bit of pressure. They cashed in whenever there was an opportunity. You generally try and play off the backfoot when the ball is spinning but that once just kept low and he had no chance,” Agarkar said.
India were bowled out for 252. Shreyas Iyer top-scored with 92. For Sri Lanka, Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets apiece.
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