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Why Virat Kohli scores bigger hundreds when he is India captain

Virat Kohli says as India national cricket team captain, there is no room for complacency and hence he tends to go on more than he usually would as a normal batsman.

cricket Updated: Feb 10, 2017 22:45 IST
HT Correspondent
Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli scored his fourth double hundred in as many series, against Bangladesh, in Hyderabad on Friday. (PTI)

Like a true captain who thinks about the team first rather than personal milestones, Virat Kohli said the responsibility doesn’t allow him to be complacent. That’s the reason behind Kohli hitting his fourth double century in as many series on Friday.

Read more | Virat Kohli’s 204, Wriddhiman Saha’s ton puts India in command vs Bangladesh

“I think because of captaincy you tend to go on more than what you usually would as a normal batsman. The room for complacency is no more present when you become captain,” Kohli said in an interview to bcci.tv after scoring 204 on Friday.

“That has something to do with me playing long innings. I have always wanted to play long innings and my first seven or eight hundreds were not even 120-plus scores.

Read more | Virat Kohli scores 204, surpasses Don Bradman, Rahul Dravid for unique record

“After that I made a conscious effort to bat long, control my excitement or not be complacent. I have worked on my fitness as well. I feel I can go on for longer periods now. I don’t get tired as much as I used to before,” said Kohli.

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Kohli said he used to give more importance to Test cricket earlier but now treats it as ‘any game of cricket’. “I definitely don’t get satisfied when I get a Test hundred, which used to be the case before, because I used to give too much importance to Test cricket separately. Now I started to treat it as any game of cricket. I have to keep going on till my team needs me to,” he said.

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A prolific scorer in the shorter formats, Kohli is becoming a true run-machine in all forms. To achieve that level of consistency, Kohli said mental preparation is more important than anything else.

“It’s not an easy thing to do especially with the amount of cricket we play nowadays. But I guess it’s more of a mental thing. I don’t necessarily focus too much on practice in season. Sometimes you might not get to practice so much. But mentally you need to focus and think about what you are going to do in the game.

“Switching to different formats is the need of the hour. I certainly want to contribute to all three formats. That’s always been my mindset so I have to prepare in a certain way. I think about the game a lot.”

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Kohli admitted the Hyderabad pitch was easy to bat on but he still had to do some things right to get the double century. “It wasn’t as testing as the other wickets I scored double centuries on but in general, to get to a double hundred you need to bat for a long period and you need to do things right to reach that score. I think the focus was only to follow my intent, at the same time be careful in terms of choosing my shots. So luckily I struck the right balance in this particular innings,” he said.

Kohli was adjudged lbw on 204. Replays later showed the impact to be outside off-stump but Kohli didn’t wait for a review. Having already used a review successfully before, Kohli wanted to leave one review for the batsmen to come.

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“In the first one (DRS), I thought if the ball has spun right from under my eyes when I am batting at 180-odd, it has to spin a lot for me to miss because I was connecting all. It wasn’t a lapse of concentration. The ball really spun sharply from in front my pad,” he said.

“Plus we had two reviews and if I got out I would have been the fifth batsmen who got out and the others could use another review. The other one I thought I was plumb in front. The umpires don’t have replays and neither do players. I also felt I was right in front of the stumps.

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“I didn’t want to use a review where I felt I was plumb in front because a Saha or a Jadeja or a Ashwin could be nearing a milestone and they could need a DRS. To me, the second one felt plumb and that’s why I started walking briskly as well. No grudges with the umpire either because it happened way too quickly to understand where it impacted the pad.”

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