Kohli determined to keep Cook down

The Bolton News: Virat Kohli will play his first Test in England at Trent Bridge from Wednesday Virat Kohli will play his first Test in England at Trent Bridge from Wednesday

India know they have an opportunity to extend England captain Alastair Cook's miserable run of form this summer.

Virat Kohli, the poster boy of the tourists' line-up, has more pressing issues on his own mind as he prepares for his first Test series in this country.

He knows a Test tour of England can be a defining experience for the best of the sub-continent's batsman - and to that end, Kohli has been listening intently to the advice of Rahul Dravid, the India great recruited as a consultant for five back-to-back matches.

Kohli is well aware too that, if India can make Cook wait for his next hundred - England's most prolific centurion has not made one for more than a year - then they will have taken a big step towards making up for their 4-0 whitewash defeat here three years ago.

Cook travelled subsequently to India, leading England to a follow-up win there for the first time since 1984-85 and making a mountain of runs in the process.

"He was batting brilliantly when he came to India, and he made full use of that," said Kohli.

"Obviously, right now, things have been pretty difficult for him.

"Everyone goes through that phase where they don't score runs - but because he has the captaincy as well, that might be troubling him a little more."

India are wary of a backlash, and determined to keep Cook down.

"We know he's a quality player and he can come back at any time," added Kohli.

"We would like to keep him under pressure... because the English batting has revolved around him for the last few years.

"He's going to be a big player in this series, and we'd like to get him early to get the momentum.

"When he bounces back, he scores big hundreds - so we have that in mind as well."

Kohli himself will prize runs this summer especially highly.

At 25, he is considered by many as the outstanding India batsman of the post-Tendulkar generation.

"This is right up there with (a tour of) South Africa, Australia, New Zealand," he said.

"I would say these are the four places where the sub-continent players do want to perform well and do target.

"I too have that in my mind... it is a pretty special place to play cricket.

"I'll be playing a Test at Lord's for the first time, so (it's a) very exciting tour for me personally.

"I have some goals I want to achieve, and I have been thinking about them.

"This is right up there with the toughest venues for sub-continent players."

Kohli will be putting out of his mind much of what happened on India's last tour here - he played only in the limited-overs matches - but will be taking Dravid's advice on board.

"A guy who played brilliantly in that series is mentoring us right now, speaking about his experiences - Rahul Dravid," added Kohli.

"That's a big plus.

"He's spoken about the experiences he's had in England, scoring those hundreds and what he felt getting those runs in tough conditions.

"That's all you need as a batsman - getting into a player's head who's done it all here, and getting into that zone yourself.

"It helps big time."

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