Published: July 25, 2020 11:04:04 am
Learning from your mistakes and making them your strengths sound interesting to hear but it’s equally tough to execute. India’s 2014 tour of England was a similar story for Indian star batsman Virat Kohli whose career faced a slump, with him failing to make a single half-century. India were thrashed 3-1 by England.
The next time when India went to England under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the world witnessed Kohli’s rise as in 5 Test, Kohli scored 593 runs at an average of 59.30 and finished the series as the highest run-getter.
Talking to his teammate Mayank Agarwal on a video interview, Kohli said,” If I say I wasn’t nervous in 2014, I would be lying. I was very nervous before the first Test started. 2014 was a milestone in my career from where I thought things might go bad from there. I sat back and changed a few things, the way I thought the game, the way I approached the game and played the game.I started being more fearless.”
Having witnessed Kohli struggling the cricketing world had started doubting the Delhi batman’s potential. Kohli had scored just 134 runs in 10 innings of the first Tests. Recalling his self-realisation, he said, “In Test cricket, I realised it gets tough to maintain your composure for a cricketer. That’s what I needed to correct in me and if that tour hadn’t happened, I would not have continued the way I have.So that tour really made me sit and think about how I want to go about my international career ahead”
On the changes in his batting stance, Kohli said, “My hip position was a problem. Being rigid does not get you anywhere. I realised it very quickly and it was a painful realisation. I was too worried about the ball that might come in. That’s why I was opening too early and the ball going away was taking me every time. I could not get passed that confusion.
I came back and studied the footage after coming back. In this age, bowlers find your weaknesses so quickly and start targetting the area you are uncomfortable with. I spoke to Sachin Paji and had a few sessions with him in Mumbai. I was focusing on the hip position but he made me realised the importance of big strides and forward press against the fast bowlers.”
On the subsequent success, Kolhi said, “I really did not give importance to what people perceive me after 2014 because all my credibility as a player went away in a month or so. You know how good you are and when start focussing on what people are saying of you is disappointing. So I stopped focussing on what people had to say about me.
The great thing about 2018 tour was I went as a captain and player. I did not think about any kind of redemption but I wanted to lead from the front and put those performances to make the team win.”
Virat also credited Ravi Shastri for the changes in his batting. “Ravi called me to his room with a bat. His understanding was very sharp. After his suggestions, I started standing outside the crease. He explained the mindset behind it. You should be in control of the space you are playing in and not to give the bowler so many opportunities to get you out.”
Having showcased his career against all Test-playing nations, Kohli currently averages 53.62 after 86 Tests with 7240 runs and 27 hundreds.
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