Form on the mend, Virat brushes aside criticism

  • Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
  • Updated: Oct 17, 2014 16:43 IST

Since his debut in 2008, Virat Kohli has emerged as the mainstay of the India middle order, scoring runs across all three formats.

Many a time it seemed he could do little wrong, as armed with every shot in the book, Virat dominated the bowling, toying with the opposition.

Things suddenly went wrong around July, and the runs dried up. After an extraordinary World T20 in March, the England tour saw a slump. In five Tests and as many ODIs, Virat failed to score a half-century --- his highest being 39 in the third Test and 40 in the third ODI. He had just one half-century (66) to show and that came during the sole T20.

No doubt, the 62 he got at the Ferozeshah Kotla in the second ODI against West Indies brought relief to the 25-year-old, who is seen as the future India captain.

Though he is still far from being the player he is, the Delhi innings gave Virat the confidence to have a go at his critics on Thursday, saying that players were human and not machines.

Quick to pounce

“I have been scoring consistently for the past five years in all three formats, but if you fail to score in a few games people start saying that I am due for a big score. You have to realise that once you are not mentally clear about your game, the technique is not going to help you,” said Virat.

He first headed to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and later sought help from Sachin Tendulkar to correct the flaws.

Recalling his struggle with form, Virat said he was mentally ready to deal with it.

“When you are playing well, you tend to forget the shortcomings in your game. But with a drop in form, you discover the areas that have been lagging. I have worked hard to improve. I know my game and I am mentally clear now. I am better equipped to deal with it as I know this won’t be the only bad patch I will encounter during my career,” he said.

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