Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Bangar has heaped praise on Virat Kohli for his recent adeptness in utilizing footwork to his advantage. With the much-anticipated clash against Pakistan in the 2023 Asia Cup opener looming on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Kohli’s strategic approach to his batting has come under the spotlight.

Speaking to Star Sports, Bangar highlighted Kohli’s exceptional adaptation in his gameplay. Notably, Kohli’s avoidance of the sweep shot has led him to focus on exploiting the depth of the crease for his shot selection. As India undertakes intensive preparations ahead of the 2023 Asia Cup, Bangar analyzed Kohli’s strategic choices.

Strategic Maneuvers by Kohli

Bangar, analyzing Kohli’s gameplay, shared insights into the batting maestro’s tactics. “From the visual evidence I’ve observed, it’s evident that Virat Kohli is targeting the mid-wicket region. His execution of significant shots, including well-executed sweeps, signifies a tactical shift. Kohli’s infrequent use of the sweep shot prompts opponents to set their field placements accordingly. Furthermore, he’s effectively employing backfoot shots, capitalizing on the crease’s depth,” remarked Bangar.

Footwork’s Brilliance Enhances Shot-Making

Bangar went on to emphasize that Kohli’s recent prowess in utilizing footwork has significantly elevated the quality of his shot-making. This strategic refinement has contributed to his exceptional gameplay. In the upcoming Asia Cup, Kohli may assume the crucial number 4 batting role for the Indian side. Notably, at this position, Kohli has amassed 1767 runs across 39 ODIs, maintaining an impressive average of 55.21.

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A Tactical Transformation

“Virat Kohli’s astute utilization of footwork is evident in his recent performances. This transformation is underpinned by a key aspect. In previous phases, he adopted a high or pre-loaded backlift. Now, he’s employing the bat tap technique, which enhances his ability to judge the ball’s length. This strategic shift has significantly contributed to the brilliance in his shot-making,” Bangar added.

Asia Cup Anticipation

India is poised to take on Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on September 2, marking a pivotal clash in the 2023 Asia Cup. This high-stakes encounter will be closely followed by another match against Nepal at the same venue on September 4, concluding the group-stage matches of the tournament. With Kohli’s strategic adaptability and mastery of footwork, the Indian team enters the competition with heightened anticipation and expectations.