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Why Virat Kohli Vs Anderson is unfair contest

Virat Kohli Vs James Anderson, has been tipped as contest of the series by cricketing pundits all across the world. This has much to do with Virat Kohli's unlucky last tour where he average around 19 in 4 test match series.

So this time also experts believe that James Anderson will make mince meat of Virat Kohli, even though Kohli is ranked number 1 ICC test match player at the moment with proven record in Australia, South, Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and everywhere else (except England before the start of the series).

James Anderson away average is worse than Ishant Sharma


It is some contest in eyes of  former Indian batsmen Sanjay Manjrekar. In fact one may argue the reason why Virat Kohli's poor tour is still fresh in cricket fans memory, despite kohli's stupendous run in test cricket since then, is because we have been constantly reminded by former India players and commentators of that horror tour. It'slike no matter how good Kohli has been, it is mandatory for critics of Indian cricket (indian themselves) to put a blot on career of best batsmen.

At the time of writing of this article, Virat kohli has amassed more than 450 runs against England, and James Anderson has to still get him out. The average runs scored by both teams per innings is under 250, which is a clear reflection of how pace bowler friendly wickets have been in the series.

Virat Kohli has scored 2 centuries thus far and has looked in no trouble whatsoever. Clearly he has nothing left to prove to anyone, including Sanjay Manjrekar. He is a great batsmen and I dare say, India's best test batsmen thus far, given his approach, the pitches on which he has performed (even Indian pitches haven't been flat during his career, balls have been turning and jumping sharply), and his consistency across the formats.

Now, coming back to Kohli vs Anderson - Why it was always an unfair contest between the two,  you have to understand first "What is a contest?"

It is a competition between two player in fair conditions. Now in game of cricket it will be very difficult to find a condition where it favors both batsmen and bowlers at the same time. Thus what we can do is to look at performances of both players bracketed in a contest, in both types of conditions, one in favor or bowler and other in favor of batsmen.

In England Anderson got Kohli out quite a number of times last time, but when he toured India he couldn't get him out even once. Now when Kohli is back in England and conditions are in all favor of pace bowlers, James Anderson still can't get him out.

Even if James Anderson had got his out this series many times, it would have still remained an unfair contest given the conditions highly favoring James Anderson, not Kohli.  Anderson has to get Kohli out in India and in batting conditions too, to claim a upper hand in the contest.

If we remove Kohli's horror tour, he averages above 70 in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and England combined. Even with that horror show in place, he will average very respectable 52 in these countries which is higher than any other batsmen going around. These performances have come up against likes of Dale Steyn Rabada, Mitchell Johnson (recently retired from all cricket) and other wonderful bowlers who are way ahead of James Anderson in many aspects.

On the contrary, if you look at James Anderson record outside England, the average drops to 35 (which is even worse than Ishant Sharma's average)  and strike rate to poor 68.43 with only 5 five wickets hall, and most of them coming against poor batting line ups, likes of West Indies.

It is more than a reasonable evidence to conclude that the contest between Virat Kohli and Anderson is no contest and pundits next time must find a better bowler against Kohli to make it a contest.

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