Amarnath wants Indian batsmen to watch Virat's footwork and learn

"Nothing is lost yet. Virat (Kohli), with his supreme footwork, has shown the way to bat. He is at ease because he takes early position to negotiate the ball," Mohinder Amarnath said.

Mohinder Amarnath said he was impressed with Virat Kohli's batting in South Africa.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Nine of his 11 Test centuries came overseas and Mohinder Amarnath, for this precious reason, is rated high by Sunil Gavaskar, who hit 18 of his 34 Test centuries away from home.

Technique and skills were paramount when they tackled the best of fast bowlers on bouncy and seamer-friendly pitches around the world. Spin tracks brought the best out of them too.

“There is no substitute to technique. You have to be sure of your basics and build on them with confidence,” says Amarnath, when asked to spell reasons for India’s batting debacles in the ongoing series in South Africa.

"You have to know what your role is going to be. There is no harm in playing your shots. If you can play the hook and pull well then play them. The batsmen need to rotate the strike too or else the bowlers strike a nagging length."

 

As Amarnath noted, “footwork” was the key. “If you watch closely, our batsmen are more chest-on. Batting is best with a side-on position. Because they are chest-on they are edging the ball to slips and to the wicketkeeper. The response to the ball has to be quick and early. Our batsmen are mostly waiting and that allows the bowlers to dominate.”

Good footwork gives the batsmen the freedom to plan their shots. “You have to bat aggressively against aggressive bowlers. You must plan your innings before you take guard. It has to be session by session and not for the day. You have to know what your role is going to be. There is no harm in playing your shots. If you can play the hook and pull well then play them. The batsmen need to rotate the strike too or else the bowlers strike a nagging length,” added Amarnath.

Amarnath agreed preparation time helps when playing away from home. “Nothing is lost yet. Virat (Kohli), with his supreme footwork, has shown the way to bat. He is at ease because he takes early position to negotiate the ball. You will have to seize the initiative by playing your shots and constantly rotating the strike. Watching Virat’s footwork would be a very good idea for the rest of the batsmen.”