While emphasizing the impact of swing-bowling, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said a batsman like Virat Kohli would never be worried in facing someone like Mitchell Johnson, who has raw pace but the India captain would be on his toes against James Anderson, simply because the latter is a more likely to swing the ball.
Pathan said no batsman likes to be up against the moving ball as it tests the technique of even the best in the business.
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“You ask Virat Kohli, he will never worry about Mitchell Johnson bowling fast because he knows he can come in line, but he will always have doubts about James Anderson. No batsman in the world is comfortable when the ball is moving. The corridor of uncertainty, remember? It will remain open forever,” Pathan wrote in his column for the Playfield Magazine.
For the record, Kohli had one of his worst series in his international career in 2014 when India toured England. It was Anderson who had troubled him with the moving ball. The India captain, however, had scored four centuries in the tour of Australia side featuring Mitchell Johnson in the same calendar year.
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Pathan feels speed alone cannot guarantee success for a bowler at the international level. The fear factor no longer plays a part thanks to better equipment, said Pathan while giving the example of India’s Rishabh Pant and England’s Jos Buttler. Both batsmen are known for their attacking style of batting. Pant even reverse swept Anderson in a Test match in Ahmedabad and backed that up with another one against Jofra Archer in a T20I.
“We have seen Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler playing lap shots and reverse sweeps to Pat Cummins and Jofra Archer. Speed alone cannot guarantee success, because batsmen no longer fear pace. The equipment is so good and bats have become better, one touch and it’s out of the ground feeding off the pace of the ball. You need skill to survive, and trust me, swing is a great skill,” Pathan wrote.