You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Virat Kohli won't be taking his foot off the accelerator in Mumbai: Ian Botham

India Today logo India Today 07-12-2016
© Reuters Image

England have their backs against the wall as they get ready to face an in-form India in the fourth Test at the Wankhede stadium from Thursday. The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-0 and a win in Mumbai would see them clinch the series and register its fifth Test series win in succession.

Only once in 84 years has an Indian team achieved that before. Between 2008 and 2010, under skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India defeated Australia at home, England at home, New Zealand in their own den, Sri Lanka at home and Bangladesh in Bangladesh.

India though, have a dismal record at the Wankhede stadium and they will be vary of that fact. The last time India defeated England at this venue was way back in February 1993. In the two matches since (2006 and 2012), England has been the emphatic winner, by 212 runs and 10 wickets, respectively.

India cannot afford to get complacent and take England for granted with the series win almost in their sight. And according to former England captain Ian Botham, Virat Kohli won't be taking his foot off the accelerator and will be going all out to win the fourth Test and seal the deal in Mumbai with a match to spare.

"From what I've seen of him, Virat Kohli plays every single game to win. He has no thought pattern regarding draws, he's thinking win 3-0, then 4-0. India have got a 2-0 start and Kohli is not going to take his foot off the accelerator," Botham told India Today's Consulting Editor Boria Majumdar in an exclusive interview.

© Reuters Image

Former captain Nasser Hussain spoke on the same lines and went on to add that he's never seen such an intense cricketer as Kohli on the field.

"I've never seen such an intense cricketer as Kohli on the field. He's so intense, full on all the time. I think even if India were 0-2 or 0-3 down he never gives up on a game of cricket. So that does not surprise me at all, especially the history of how well England have played against India recently. Virat (Kohli) not getting many runs in that last series in England in 2014.

"It is the payback series for India. While they've got England down, keep them down. They have got to remember what happened here (Wankhede) the last time in 2012. Dhoni came here thinking England can't play on turning pitches and we will completely walk over this England side, and they brought England back into the series. But Kohli's not the sort of bloke who would give Cook's side a sniff of chance that is for certain," Nasser said.

The last time these two sides met at the Wankhede in 2012, England had staged a stunning comeback in the match thanks to Kevin Pietersen's magnificent 186, and then Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann bamboozled the Indian batsmen with their spin and guile.

Slideshow: Virat Kohli - On and off the cricket field

27 things you didn't know about Virat Kohli

Nasser feels England can repeat what they did here four years back but they will have to do something exceptional to make a comeback in this series.

"They can make a comeback, they have made a comeback here in the past with the likes of Cook, Pietersen, Swann and Panesar. But they were all exceptional performances. A lot of the English players have had a decent series so far. Cook's been decent, Hameed has been better than decent... Root, Bairstow and Stokes have all clicked but not together as a team. No one has done anything exceptional.

"I think to comeback in the series they need to do something exceptional, specially here in Mumbai. Obviously the toss is important but you can't argue that England have won two out of the three tosses, the pitches haven't spun big. So it's not been your typical win the toss and win on a dust-bowl this time. India have done it the hard way and that's where England will need to improve," he added.

While Botham's advice for England is if they win the toss they will need to bat first and score big in the first innings, that's the only way they can win a match here in India.

"There's one golden rule in India - if you win the toss you bat and you bat big and you score runs. 283 on that belter of a wicket in the last Test in the first innings after winning the toss was simply not good enough.

"England let themselves down in Mohali, but they are much better than that. You cannot give away a lead of 200 runs in the first innings against India in India and expect to get anything out of the game," Botham opined.

Watch: Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma attend Yuvraj Singh's wedding

Replay Video

More from India Today

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon