India captain Virat Kohli might not be playing the ongoing three-day warm-up match against Australia A at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but has taken up a crucial role of mentoring the players.
According to a report in Mid-Day, Kohli on Friday was busy in the nets at SCG, not just practising ahead of the pink-ball Test, but also mentoring opening batsman Mayank Agarwal. Kohli, who had opted out of the warm-up match, hit the nets to train with the pink ball and then switched over to observing and helping out Agarwal. India’s coaching staff had to shuttle between the net session and the warm-up match, where India collapsed from 102 for 2 to 123 for 9 before Jasprit Bumrah’s maiden first-class half-century lifted them to 194.
According to the newspaper, Kohli helped Agarwal iron out some minor technical flaws. Agarwal had reportedly endured a tough net session against Bumrah last week, and had also fallen cheaply to Sean Abbott on Friday. Agarwal was bowled by Bumrah twice in IPL 2020, and had also been struggling with attacking the short ball in the One-Day International series in Australia.
Observing Agarwal bat, Kohli suggested Agarwal to take his hands higher when leaving a short ball. The India captain also asked Agarwal to ensure his back toe is not lifted while playing the rising delivery to ensure he’s in complete control.
Kohli even chucked a few balls to Agarwal in a marathon session at the end of which both left satisfied.
Kohli had earlier explained that he wouldn’t play the warm-up match if he felt he would be ‘on and off.
“I will wake up tomorrow and see if I can play the tour match. Playing it on and off is not my thing and I like to play the full game. I will talk to our physio and then decide on my participation,” Kohli said after the third and final T20 International which India lost by 12 runs.
Net bowlers to stay back for the Test series
Meanwhile, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and Kartik Tyagi have been asked to stay back in Australia for the Test series as well. With no local net bowlers allowed due to COVID-19 precautions, these four will help India prepare during the Tests.