It was Virat Kohli’s plan to target James Anderson if former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar is to be believed. The England pacer was rattled by Jasprit Bumrah’s bouncers in the second Test at Lord’s.
India won the match by 151 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series. According to Manjrekar, it was Virat Kohli who told Bumrah to attack Anderson.
In his column for The Hindustan Times, Manjrekar wrote, “When, out of the blue, Jasprit Bumrah started a relentless attack of short balls aimed into the body of no 11 Jimmy Anderson. It was very un-Bumrah like. Normally you would expect him to bowl a fast, full delivery into the stumps to Anderson to finish off the innings quickly like he did in the first. I am guessing this was Virat Kohli’s plan executed by Bumrah. Go after the main guy in the opposition, soften him up a little, stir him up a bit or maybe injure him in a way that the main English weapon was blunted.”
Manjrekar was impressed by Virat Kohli’s tactics in the match.
“Whatever the reason, I just loved it. Why? Because right through my playing career no captain of mine – barring one – did this to any opposition fast bowler fearing the backlash. This is Virat’s great attribute. He is genuinely aggressive and fearless and he is in your face. His team may not be as demonstrative of this trait, but they are bound to imbibe some of it. At the end of Day 3, while walking out you could see Anderson was genuinely affected. He had lost his calm as a competitor. It seemed to me his ego was bruised a little.”