McGrath: 'If bowling to Kohli, I would have played on his mind'

The former Australian bowler says he would have also looked to cut down Virat Kohli's scoring areas.

Virat Kohli ODI

Glenn McGrath feels in his current batting form, Kohli could go past Tendulkar's records.   -  AFP

Glenn McGrath has witnessed Virat Kohli destroying attacks and had contests with another great marauder from the past - Sachin Tendulkar.

How does the Aussie pace ace compare Kohli with Tendulkar? “I don’t like to compare eras. Every era makes it own demands and the pitches, generally, are better for batting these days. Sachin, on his day, could decimate attacks. Kohli is a very attacking batsman too.” McGrath tells Sportstar.

When asked, what would have his plan bowling to Kohli, he says, “Kohli is a quality batsman, a confidence player, and as a bowler, I would cut off his scoring areas and build pressure. He is good through the off-side, I would block him there. He is good off his legs too and again I would deny him runs in that area.”

Read: McGrath pleased with the progress of young Indian seamers

McGrath added, “Kohli is solid technically, has an aggressive attitude, goes about his cricket with passion and I would like to play on his mind, prevent him from scoring freely.”

The great Australian elaborated. “And I would bowl an in-between length at Kohli, neither too full nor too short and cramp him for room.”

There were other tactics too, McGrath revealed, that could work against a run-machine such as Kohli. “For instance, you could have an aggressive field and bowl a defensive line. There are areas to score but the ball is not there to be hit. It forces mistakes.”

Then there is the classic McGrath ploy, hitting the top of off-stump. “The length for this depends from wicket to wicket and from batsman to batsman. When I bowl this line, I would want a full slip cordon. There is nothing worse for a bowler than to see the ball going through an empty area in the cordon.”

On how far Kohli could travel in his extraordinary journey, McGrath answered, “If he continues to bat the way he is doing now, he could well go past Sachin’s records.”