James Anderson and Virat Kohli © Getty Images (File Photo)
James Anderson and Virat Kohli © Getty Images (File Photo)

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan feels that James Anderson‘s attempts to sledge Virat Kohli going into the 5-Test series are nothing but juvenile. Speaking to TOI, Siva said, ”This is a typical style of attacking the captain and trying to disintegrate his mind. Once you attack the captain, the entire team stands to suffer.” He indicated that this way of mental disintegration may have worked in the old times but they rarely do in the present environment as most of the players across nationalities play in T20 leagues around the world, particularly in IPL.

Siva further implied that these tactics are ineffective and may be counter-productive. “Which batsmen doesn’t want to get runs? More so in Test match cricket. Even Anderson, as a tail-ender, would try to score runs for his team. As captain, Kohli would try and do the same by scoring runs. But more than his runs, his team would be his top-most priority. Therefore, his comments are nothing but childish.,” Siva went on and challenged Anderson to get fit and pick some wickets instead of engaging in a battle of words.

This is not the first time Anderson has had a take at Kohli, in 2016 he called out the Indian captain for being a home-track bully rather than being able to perform in challenging conditions, as a reference to Kohli’s performance in India’s previous tour to England in 2014. It is a fact that Kohli didn’t perform up to the mark then as he managed to score just 136 runs from 10 innings in 5 Tests. Anderson got Virat’s number on 4 occasions and particularly troubled him in the channel outside the off stump. But it is also true that this time around, the conditions are quite different from what they were in 2014 as its a dry summer with UK reeling under a heat wave. Batting will be comparatively easier with the ball not darting around that much as it does when the conditions are damp.

The followers of the game would be eager to watch the battle between two top players from India and England in an expectedly keen contest in the longest format. Rather than comments, people would like to see Anderson shine with the ball and Kohli raise his game with the bat.