Former Test captain Steve Waugh says Australia have Virat Kohli "rattled" after the India skipper’s uncharacteristic poor run of form continued in the second Test in Bengaluru.
Kohli managed 15 on Monday before falling victim to a controversial lbw decision in India’s second innings, the batting maestro angrily waving his bat as he walked off after an unsuccessful review.
The right-hander now has just 40 runs at 10 in four hits this series, having been dismissed offering no shot twice; firstly to Steve O’Keefe in the first Test, and then to Nathan Lyon in the same fashion in the first innings at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Waugh says the fact Kohli has twice been dismissed offering no shot shows the tourists have got to the fiery India captain.
"Kohli seems to be a little out of sorts at the moment," Waugh said on a Facebook Live session on his page. "It’s the first time he’s been under pressure for a while.
"Australia have had good plans to him as well (but) he’s been a little bit muddled in his thinking.
"That’s best shown by two of his dismissals where he let balls go against the spinners.
"That’s something he never would have done even in his junior cricket days.
"That means he’s not quite thinking 100 per cent, so Australia have got him a bit rattled at the moment.
"(A) home Test series, they’re expected to win it and right now (at stumps on day three) Australia are in front.
"I think he’s feeling the pressure of 1.3 billion Indians, wanting him to score runs and thinking he’s going to every time."
Kohli, second only to Steve Smith on the International Cricket Council’s Test batting rankings, came into the four-match showdown with Australia high on confidence having notched double centuries in each of India’s preceding four Test series.
But his barren stretch began in the first Test in Pune, when the right-hander edged a wide delivery from Mitchell Starc to first slip to register his first-ever duck in a Test on home soil.
O’Keefe then clean bowled him with a straight one when Kohli offered no shot in the second innings as Smith’s men recorded a drought-breaking victory, before Lyon incredibly dismissed him lbw shouldering arms again on Saturday.
And while Waugh believes Australia’s strategy has been top-notch, he doesn’t expect the tourists to be able to contain him for too long.
"That was always going to be a key component of this Test series, how many runs Virat Kohli was going to score,” the 168-Test veteran explained.
"So far Australia have (contained him) very well ... but I expect him to score runs later on (in the series)."