Space that you gave made me feel relaxed, I was earlier deviating from my game: Virat Kohli tells Rohit Sharma

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Space that you gave made me feel relaxed, I was earlier deviating from my game: Virat Kohli tells Rohit Sharma
Space that you gave made me feel relaxed, I was earlier deviating from my game: Virat Kohli tells Rohit Sharma

Space that you gave made me feel relaxed, I was earlier deviating from my game: Virat Kohli tells Rohit Sharma

Virat Kohli is all praise for skipper Rohit Sharma for the kind of “communication” he has had with him which has helped him stay relaxed and return to his “original template”.

In the meaningless Super 4 Asia Cup game against Afghanistan, Kohli eventually reached his 71st international hundred, and the BCCI.TV post-game show included the current and past captain engaging in serious conversation and the occasional bit of humour.

“We will learn from these Super 4 games (Pakistan and Sri Lanka) as to where we have gone wrong. There was clear communication from the management. The space that you gave me made me feel relaxed. So when I came back (after break), I was excited about what I could contribute to team,” Kohli told his “interviewer” Rohit.

Getting back to his ‘Old Template’

There are many ways to skin a cat, and Kohli informed his captain that he had come to the realisation that he should adhere to his tried-and-true “template,” where hitting sixes isn’t always a priority.

“I banked on good cricketing shots and six hitting is not a big strength of mine. I can (hit sixes) if situation demands but I am better at finding gaps and as long as I can hit many boundaries, it will still serve the purpose,” Kohli said.

He had actually discussed his method with Vikram Rathour, the batting instructor, and Dravid.

“I told coaches that I will find the gaps rather than trying to hit big. It is not always that in T20 cricket, to get the strike-rate up, you need to only hit sixes. I got that out of my system and I am back with my template,” the master batter said.

“My role in the team is to take responsibility as per situation and also take the scoring rate higher. If I can take 10-15 balls to settle down, then I can accelerate. I was going away from my template and desperately trying to do things which are not in my game,” he admitted.

But Kohli assured Rohit that he had not done anything unusual in terms of technique or attitude.

“You know me well. We have played together for such a long time. If we are in good head space and continue being there, we will perform. The dresisng room is a scared place for both of us and now it’s about carrying the good habits into the upcoming series.”

Dravid’s tips also helped

For Kohli, the Asia Cup was all about adding depth to his batting, including his strategy between overs 7 and 15, and he received some helpful guidance from head coach Rahul Dravid in this regard.

“Rahul bhai has spoken to me while batting in middle overs, how can I improve my strike-rate when we bat first. The goal was the things I need to improve in order to help the team, I should try it out in Asia Cup,” he said.

Both seniors “bat” for KL Rahul at top

The two veterans concurred that KL Rahul is essential at the top and must be protected, despite Kohli’s hundred at the top sparking discussion about whether he should open with Rohit.

“We shouldn’t ignore KL’s knock as it is important to be in a good head space heading into the World Cup. We all know what he can do. He plays clean, solid shots and once he plays well our team looks more strong,” Kohli said.