When Sachin Tendulkar came out to bat in Sydney in 2004, he had previous scores of 0, 1, 37, 0 and 44. The legendary cricketer had little regard for the numbers as he stormed out of his lean phase with a sensational 241 in a knock that can now possibly help his protege; Virat Kohli who failed with the bat once again in the 1st innings of the Manchester Test. (Read: If something is wrong, will go against it: MS Dhoni on Jadeja-Anderson row)
Kohli hasÂ scored 101 runs from seven Test innings on the current tour to England. While a series average of 16.83 hardly defines the ability of a batsman of Kohli's calibre, Gavaskar told NDTV that watching Tendulkar's epic innings against Australia ten years ago can rejuvenate Kohli. "Sachin's video is a long video. Don't forget that he scored 241, so I think that's a long lesson in batsmanship," he said on the eve of the fourth Test which starts at Old Trafford from Thursday. (India should consider Varun Aaron, Ravichandran Ashwin for 4th Test: Gavaskar to NDTV)
Tendulkar had scored 82 runs from five innings before the Sydney Test. He consequently batted 613 minutes and faced 436 balls to help India declare on 705/7. It was an innings of grit, determination and patience - virtues Gavaskar feels Kohli needs to imbibe. "I think all he (Kohli) has got to do is have a little bit of discipline, have a little bit of patience," he said.Â "By discipline, I mean having the discipline of avoiding certain shots and have a lot of patience."Â (James Anderson need not change his aggressive style: Cook)
Reiterating that Kohli is a superb performer, Gavaskar said that every cricketer goes through lean phases in their careers but those hardly last long. "Kohli is too good a player. But like all good players go through a lean patch, maybe this is a lean patch for him," said the former India captain.Â "But let's hope for Indian cricket's sake that he gets out of it and scores and not only scores but makes up for his first three Tests where he didn't score too many." (Get over Jadeja-Anderson row: Gavaskar tells Team India)
Kohli is currently the 14th highest scorer in the series and has dropped to 15th place in ICC Test rankings for batsmen.Â While tailenders in the Indian side have shown batting resolve - Bhuvneshwar Kumar being a shining example with three fifties, the top-order needs to be more careful with regards to the shots they play, feels Gavaskar. " A lot of our batsmen are pushing hard at the ball, pushing at deliveries which they should be leaving alone," he observed. "The secret is to play as late as possible. I think that is a situation more in England than anywhere else because the ball keeps moving in England."
With skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni already bogged down by question marks over his pace selection, batsmen will have to step up if India are to re-clinch their dominance in the ongoing Test series.