He is among the most dreaded batsmen in international cricket right now but Indian swashbuckler Virat Kohli says he has made peace with one shortcoming in his game, his inability to strike big sixes.
Kohli has hit only 27 sixes in 33 T20 Internationals compared to a whopping 127 boundaries. And talking about his game ahead of the Asia Cup starting on Wednesday, the marauding right-hander said he has come to terms with being just a four-hitter.
“The game plan in my initial days in T20 was to get 10 off 10 and then take off. But I realised that I don’t have the kind of shots to hit big sixes. I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot hit big sixes so I focus on boundaries,” Kohli told mediapersons ahead of India’s Asia Cup T20 opener against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
“Our team has good momentum going into Asia Cup. We cannot be over-confident and we have to respect every opposition,” said Kohli. The Indian vice-captain was all praise for Mustafizur Rahman, the pacer who tormented the Indians during their last visit where they lost the ODI series 1-2.
“Mustafizur has done really well in the last one year. He spices up the game. It’s important for the game to have bowlers, who come in and trouble the batsmen. It makes the game more competitive. As a batsmen also, it becomes more exciting because you think that you have to prepare differently for a bowler, who has brought something new.”
Kohli also feels that in a tournament like next month’s World T20, it is very difficult to just focus on two or three particular teams as it can upset the gameplan. “Every team is dangerous in T20. On a particular day, we are not looking at any team as major threat. We will take the challenge very similarly be it any team from around the world, that’s the way we need to approach a tournament like the World Cup.
“If you focus on two or three teams too much, then one tends to lose focus on the rest. Every game counts in this format. Things can change very quickly, momentum is a big factor. Both India and Bangladesh are very strong but we are not focusing on strengths of the opposition too much because we need to back our strengths than find out the weaknesses in the opposition to win matches.”
Kohli said he is happy that to have got a three-week break from the game post the Australia tour. “It was a good break after a long time. I got time to get away from the game. Rest was important as I was playing non- stop cricket. Every cricketer’s workload is assessed differently. If I play 5 games and if I don’t make runs then my workload will not be that much compared to someone else. So, taking all these things into consideration, the physio and everyone felt that I should take a break because in the Asia Cup and World T20, we have to play with full intensity.
“It’s an important phase, so it was good, little bit of training, rest, spending time at home, it was a good break all in all.”
Kohli was asked about the infamous traffic snarls in Bangladesh but the Indian captain made light of it by saying that he is more focussed on the dew factor than traffic. “We are more concerned about the cricketing conditions than traffic. Wicket does play differently a lot of times, and dew can make it almost a one-sided game. As for traffic, I just go off to sleep while we are in the bus,” he said.