Legendary English spinner Graeme Swann has stated that both Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are pretty similar in the way they approach the spinners in different formats and underlined his own experience against the duo to prove his theory.
As the general perception goes, all sub-continental batsmen have a kind of similar approach against spinners thanks to the vicious turners and flatbeds on display in those tracks. However, Graeme Swann, a fine spinner of the yore who has now become a respected cricket analyst, feels that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
”People often suggest that batsmen in the subcontinent are all the same but they are actually very different,” Swann told UK Telegraph. “The Indian psyche is to respect the time in the game and play patiently to wear the spinners down, whereas Pakistan batsmen are mercurial, attacking, and don’t let the spinners settle.”
Swann came face to face against Virat Kohli in the historic 2012 Test series when Kohli was just breaking it into the side. While he dominated them in the ODI series, Swann observed that it was a completely different avatar when he traded his Blue jersey for whites, and played with a lot of cautiousness, which Swann likens to Sachin Tendulkar.
“I first came up against him in Test cricket on the India tour in 2012. Up until then he had been known more as a one-day player and had destroyed us in the one-day series, where he was very confrontational and in your face.
“I remember him almost coming to blows with Steven Finn, who is the nicest bloke in the world, and the two of them were fuming with each other. That was Virat’s way – snarling and taking the attack to you, which I really admire. When it came to the Test series he didn’t try to take the attack to the spinners in the same way.
“When I bowled to Virat in Tests, I found that he would treat you with a lot of respect. He wouldn’t try and do too much or dominate you – very much like Sachin Tendulkar. In one-day cricket, both of them would look to attack you and knock you off your line. But in Test cricket they are both very patient and look to bat time, wait for bad balls.
Swann: Still can’t believe got Virat out with a full toss once
Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar formed a deadly bowling combination for England that side, wreaking havoc in a regular fashion. With Kohli being a rookie, his game was slightly indifferent and he was once dismissed by the Northamptonshire spinner on a full toss.
“What you’ve got to accept is that you’ve got a long waiting game to play with them. They are not going to make many mistakes. I think I got Virat out with a full toss once and I still can’t believe he did it – it was probably the softest dismissal he’s had in Test cricket.”