Indian skipper Virat Kohli a believer in toiling hard, not form | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Indian skipper Virat Kohli a believer in toiling hard, not form

When everyone was raving about Amitabh Bachchan’s mysterious masked look on the day his film ‘Pink’ released, Virat Kohli posted a video on Instagram where he put the device on while training.

cricket Updated: Sep 29, 2016 22:26 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli during a practice session at Eden Garden in Kolkata.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli during a practice session at Eden Garden in Kolkata.(PTI Photo)

When everyone was raving about Amitabh Bachchan’s mysterious masked look on the day his film ‘Pink’ released, Virat Kohli posted a video on Instagram where he put the device on while training.

Elevation training masks are the in-thing in cardio-respiratory fitness. It might be popular with athletes, but in cricket such an aid is often considered ornamental as long as the wrists are supple and the eyes good. The point is Kohli likes to leave no stone unturned, be it training at the gym or in the nets.

There is no particular yardstick to gauge if a person is training harder than usual, but in the two days of training at Eden Gardens, Kohli has looked a man on a mission. From using a rubber ball to constantly trying to keep his sweep down, Kohli looked to make every ball count during his nets.

His logic behind training with a rubber ball was understandable. “It was because we play three formats. We sometimes tend to bat in a flow. So it’s important to work on your skills that bring stability into your game as well. You already have it so it’s just about repeating those things. It’s about wanting to control the ball that’s bouncing and not coming at pace,” he said.

Unlike most batsmen who start their nets with customary defensive strokes, Kohli brings his aggression to practice from the first ball. “My effort is always to build up as much confidence as I can by playing aggressively and take that into the match,” he had said during last month’s tour of West Indies.

“That takes out the hesitation factor in the nets. Because in the nets, a batsman always feels a little claustrophobic, you feel a little trapped. If you play fast bowling there, and in challenging conditions, it becomes relatively easier in the match, because the environment becomes such that you feel a little more free as a batsman. So in the nets, the idea is to make it as challenging as possible, against bowling with as much pace and bounce as possible, so when you get similar conditions in the match, you are ready for it,” he said.

As hard as he might toil in the nets, Kohli isn’t among those who believe it will guarantee success. “I don’t think there’s anything called form. It’s about how you feel at that particular day. It’s about how good you are mentally. You have to accept that you can’t score runs every time,” he said.

Ever since hitting an imperious double hundred in Antigua, Kohli has had scores of 44, 3, 4, 9 and 18 in five innings. But he still claims to not think about it and do what he does best --- train. “Generally, cricket is a game of chances. But preparation is something that’s in my hands. I look to do it 100% at practice,” he said.