I Don’t Get Satisfied After Getting A Hundred: Virat Kohli

From preparation to execution, captain Virat Kohli puts into perspective his record-breaking run.

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Australia are yet to arrive in India for their upcoming high profile four-match Test series, but they have already confessed they don’t have any plans to contain Virat Kohli. It is the feeling that West Indies went through in Antigua, New Zealand in Indore, England in Mumbai and Bangladesh in Hyderabad. In four consecutive Test series, the Indian captain has got four double hundreds. He has eclipsed Sir Don Bradman and former India Captain and current India A and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid, who scored double tons in three consecutive Test series.

In the lead up to the Test against Bangladesh, Virat did not immerse himself in the nets. Change in formats do not matter to him. He even opened in the recently concluded T20Is against England, but when he is back in the whites, his aggressive intent takes a different form. En route to his double hundred, he had three partnerships and he was the dominant force in all three. At the same time, also collected 108 running runs. He got his first fifty in 70 balls, the second in 60 and his third fifty in only 40 balls to reach the 150-run mark. There was no big hit, no six. In fact, in this home season in Tests, he has hit just a solitary six.

When width was provided or a short ball bowled, he made full use, yet 67 per cent of his runs were in front of the wicket. Of the 127 runs he scored against the spinners, the shot that got him his double was his first lofted one. It is a model based on traditional scoring methods, insane fitness levels, mental superiority, the desire to outperform himself and an insatiable hunger for excellence.

After his record-breaking double ton, the Indian captain spoke to BCCI.TV and explained how the added responsibility brings out the best in him.

It started off from Antigua and you now have a double hundred in every series. You’ve even surpassed Sir Don Bradman and Rahul Dravid.

I think it is because of captaincy that you tend to go on more than you would as a batsman. I think there is no room for complacency when you become the captain. I have always wanted to play long innings. My first seven-eight (seven) hundreds were not even 120 plus scores and after that I made a conscious effort to bat long. (I) Controlled my excitement and worked on not getting complacent at any stage. I have worked on those things and have worked on my fitness over the years. I feel like I can go on for longer periods. I don’t get tired as much as I used to before. I definitely don’t get satisfied when I get a Test hundred which was the case before because I used to give too much importance to Test cricket separately. Now, I have just started to treat it as any (other) game of cricket and I have to keep going on till the time my team needs me to.

You opened the batting recently in T20Is. Despite the change in format from white ball to red ball, you are able to bat the way just like the way you want to. How do you manage to do that?

It is not an easy thing to do with the amount of cricket we play nowadays. It is more of a mental thing. I don’t necessarily focus too much on practice. Sometimes, you don’t get to practice too much, but mentally you need to focus and think about what you are going to do in the game. Switching to different formats is the need of the hour and I want to contribute in all three formats. It has always been my mindset. I have to prepare a certain way. It is more mental than getting into the nets. I think about the game a lot.

It surely must not be as easy to bat for so long and get a big score as you made it look like here in Hyderabad?

The wicket was really good to bat on to be honest. It wasn’t as testing as other wickets that I scored centuries on. To get a double hundred you need to bat for a long period and you need to do things right to get to that score. The focus was only to follow my intent and at the same time, be careful about choosing my shots. Luckily, I struck the right balance in this particular innings and it feels good to have got a big score.

You were spot on with your first review. What made you not opt for the second one?

If the ball has spun from right under my eyes when I am batting on 180, it has to spin a lot for me to miss it as I had been connecting all. It wasn’t a lapse in concentration. The ball really spun sharply from the front of my pad. We had two reviews left. If I got out, I would’ve been the fifth batsman to get out and others could still use the one review left.

For the other, I thought I was plumb in front. I was falling back when I got hit on the pad as well and that’s why the umpire could not give not out either. I wasn’t standing there, I was falling behind. If you look at the real-time replay it looks plumb. The umpires don’t have a replay and so do the players. I didn’t want to use a review that I felt like I was plumb in front because a Saha, Jadeja or Ashwin could be nearing a milestone and they could use it for themselves as well. The second one to me felt like I was plumb and that’s why I started walking briskly as well. No grudges with the umpire either as it happened way too quickly for them to understand where it actually impacted the pads.

© Moulin Parikh, BCCI

Have Lost All Adjectives For Virat Kohli, Nobody At Par With Him: Sourav Ganguly To India Today

Virat Kohli emulated Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 14 hundreds in successful run chases in the history of ODI cricket.

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Cometh the hour, cometh the man! The idiom fits Virat Kohli perfectly. Kohli has been on a spree in 2016, scoring heaps of runs in all formats. The stylish cricketer today once again anchored India’s run chase with a masterly 154 not out to help the side win the third ODI against New Zealand by seven wickets and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly was all praise for Kohli, who emulated Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 14 hundreds in successful run chases in the history of ODI cricket.

“It’s remarkable. It’s such a pleasure to see him bat. We keep talking good things about him. I have lost all adjectives about him. It’s just another good knock. Great knock to be honest. I wish he keeps playing like this,” Ganguly told India Today.

Ganguly also termed Kohli as the best ODI finisher in the world at the moment.

“By far Virat Kohli there’s no doubt about it. He not just scores hundreds at No.3, he even wins matches. He gets hundreds in all conditions whether it’s in Australia, England or South Africa. There’s no comparison with MS Dhoni. These two are the best ODI players along with Rohit Sharma in the squad. I think Kohli is miles ahead of others in terms of his average, in terms of winning, in terms of scoring runs in all conditions. I don’t think Dhoni has got a hundred away from sub-continent in ODI but Kohli has got hundreds in all conditions. I think Rohit has also got hundred in Australia but none of them will be at par with Kohli at the moment,” Ganguly.

‘DHONI SHOULD BAT AT NO. 4’

Chasing a tricky 286 for a win, India lost openers early and were reduced to 41/2 in the 9th over. Captain Mahendra Singh made a surprise move by promoting himself up the order. He joined forces with Virat Kohli and put on 151 runs for the third wicket. (It’s a joy to watch Virat Kohli bat, says Sachin Tendulkar)

Dhoni scored 80 off 90 deliveries, his first fifty in 11 innings. Ganguly said Dhoni should continue to bat at No.4.

“Not sure if he continues to bat at No.4. Anil Kumble needs to push him up the order because it makes life lot easier for him and people coming down the order. He hasn’t got ODI hundred for three years and the reason is he bats just 40-50 balls. I think he not only undermines his talent but also undermines his team’s capacity of winning games.”

“If you see the innings of Kohli and Dhoni and none of them were under any pressure because both were scoring runs at will. That’s what happens when your two best one day players are at the crease. For me the Indian batting should be Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. Take the pressure upfront.

“He keeps talking about finishing games. He finished the game today as well. He played so well at No.4,” Ganguly said.

© Jepher Christopher Nickels, indiatoday.in