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Dream or target, chase it like Virat Kohli

'As a kid, when I used to watch India lose, I would go to sleep thinking I could have won that match'

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 20.05.20, 4:54 AM
  • Updated 20.05.20, 4:54 AM
  • 2 mins read
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India skipper Virat Kohli Telegraph picture

Like the queen in chess, Virat Kohli is the king of chase — the all-powerful who can surmount almost all odds. And, interestingly, he actually dreamt of finishing off matches for India long before he made his international debut.

The India captain, during an Instagram live session with Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal, offered a glimpse into his mental set-up while chasing down targets.

“Honestly, as a kid, when I used to watch India lose, I would go to sleep thinking I could have won that match,” Kohli said.

“If I am chasing 380, I never feel that you can’t achieve it… In 2012 in Hobart, we had to chase 320-odd in 40 overs (against Sri Lanka) to qualify. At the break, I told (Suresh) Raina that we will approach this match as two 20 over games. Forty overs is a big duration. So I told him let’s first play 20 and see how many runs are scored and then play another T20 game.”

India overhauled a target of 321 in 36.4 overs in that match with Kohli playing a memorable innings of 133 not out off just 86 balls with 16 fours and two sixes.

India won by seven wickets.

The trick, said Kohli, is not to doubt one’s self.

“To be honest, I never doubt myself in game situations. Everyone who is human has doubts and weaknesses. Have their negatives. So in practice during tours, if you haven’t had a good session, you feel you don’t have that flow.

“Yes, doubts creep in then and it’s at the back of your mind. Key is to keep going and get into that zone till you feel that it was just a distraction. If I believe I am good enough, then I am good enough.

“The best part about match situation is that you don’t need to think so much. You react to situations knowing your role..”

To talk of Kohli’s mastery in chases statistically, the 31-year old averages a monstrous 96.21 in successful run chases for India in ODIs. Overall, in 134 innings during chases in ODIs, Kohli has amassed 7,039 runs at an average of 68.34 with 26 hundreds.

He also revealed how he has adjusted his batting technique to play the ball more along the ground.

“I changed (my technique) because I wanted to hit all around the ground. The static position was making my options limited. My basic funda of batting is that if your hips are in perfect position then you can play any shot. Static position wasn’t working well for me.”

“But it works for a lot of players. Like Sachin Tendulkar had a static stance all his life and he never had a problem.”

Sidearm help

Captain Kohli acknowledged throwdown specialist D. Raghavendra’s help in enabling the current Indian team batsmen deal better with fast-bowling.

Raghavendra — Raghu to the Indian players — has the ability to generate speeds in excess of 150-155 kmph with the ‘sidearm’. The ‘sidearm’ is a cricketing equipment that is shaped like a long spoon, with its far end designed to hold and hurl the ball at great speeds.

“I believe the improvement this team has shown while playing fast bowling since 2013 has been because of Raghu. He has good concepts about footwork, bat movement of players,” Kohli said.