Virat Kohli suffers embarrassing new blow amid batting struggles

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·Sports Reporter
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For the first time in nearly four years, Virat Kohli has fallen below an Indian teammate in the ICC's batting rankings. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
For the first time in nearly four years, Virat Kohli has fallen below an Indian teammate in the ICC's batting rankings. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Indian batting talisman Virat Kohli's form slump has, for the first time in nearly four years, seen him fall from being the nation's top ranked batsman.

In the latest International Cricket Council rankings, Kohli placed sixth, one spot behind teammate Rohit Sharma.

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Kohli's form slump, which has seen him score just a solitary half-century from his lat seven innings, has seen his standing take a significant hit after topping the table for some time.

It comes as England captain Joe Root has rocketed up the rankings thanks to his incredible run of form in 2021.

Root last topped the Test rankings back in 2015, but had tumbled as low as ninth before discovering a rich vein of form at the beginning of the year.

In his last 11 matches, Root has hit 1398 runs at a blistering average of 69.90.

He's notched six centuries since the beginning of the year, including three in as many innings during England's current Test series against India, which is square at 1-1 after three matches.

Root has leapfrogged Australian duo Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, as well as New Zealand's Kane Williamson and Indian counterpart Kohli.

“I’m obviously proud to hear I’ve achieved that, it would be nice to be able to stay there now,” he said ahead of the fourth Test.

“Hopefully the form of my life is still to come, but I certainly feel very good at the moment and need to stay focused.”

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India have learnt their lessons against England's in-form captain and are determined not to give him freebies early in his knock, bowling coach Bharat Arun said on the eve of the fourth test at The Oval.

Arun agreed to the suggestion that the otherwise tidy Indian bowlers might have fed an in-form batsman too many loose deliveries early in his knock to make things easy for him.

"You hit the nail on the head," the former India bowler told a virtual news conference on Wednesday.

"We have given him pretty fast starts, and obviously we looked deep into those areas, and we look to stem those."

In contrast, India's own batting was dismal in the third Test at Headingley, where the tourists were shot out for 78 en route to an innings defeat.

Arun said their bowlers had time and again defended low totals but were bound to fail occasionally.

England captain Joe Root has hit three centuries in as many Test against India in their series, which is heading into game four this week. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
England captain Joe Root has hit three centuries in as many Test against India in their series, which is heading into game four this week. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

"The biggest challenge for the bowlers is to defend low scores and they've done it in the past. I don't think it's fair to pull up the bowlers if they have done it on one occasion."

Arun said their Headingley capitulation was an aberration and the team knew how to bounce back from such comprehensive defeats.

He recalled India being shot out for 36 in Adelaide and still winning the Test series in Australia and their come-from-behind win in a subsequent home series against England this year.

"We have done it in the past and we can take confidence from what we have done in the past. I'm sure you will see a much more spirited performance in the coming Test matches."

India have added seamer Prasidh Krishna to their squad but Arun said it was merely a precaution, considering the workload on the frontline bowlers.

England have named all-rounder Moeen Ali as the vice-captain in the absence of wicket-keeper Jos Buttler who misses the match to attend the birth of his second child.

With AAP

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