It is not always about playing the right shot; it could also be about making the right moves off the field. India have completed three months Down Under. Away from home for so long could drain the players not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
However, Virat Kohli, India’s most successful batsman of the tour, revealed how he combats the toll the long tour takes on body and mind.
“The more you think about it, the harder it will become,” Kohli said on Saturday.
“I have tried not to look too far ahead, and not sit in the hotel too much. Going out is very important, you might start fretting in the hotel room, your mood will sour and your mindset won’t be good.”
India’s top run-getter in the Test series, scoring 692 runs with four centuries, added: “I like going for walks, going to restaurants. Everyone has a different plan but according to me, taking one day at a time is very important.”
Even in the first match of the World Cup against Pakistan, Kohli struck a well-calculated century. He looked fresh and batted cleanly.
There was no sign of fatigue with his innings containing 56 singles. “It’s very difficult, especially if you start thinking from the beginning that it is a 4 or 4-1/2-month tour. Only yesterday, Raina said we are finishing three months in Australia today. I didn’t know, honestly. I don’t think much beyond the day. The more you stay in the present, it is easier to tackle a long tour. The more you think about it, the harder it will become.”
Many top cricketers talk about the pressure of playing in front of thousands of spectators. But Kohli said he enjoys batting in a packed stadium. It’s a childhood dream come true.
“I love that, it’s a great opportunity to go out there and do something special, make your people happy, and make your team proud. It’s one of the celebrated moments for a cricketer when you have a full stadium. As a child you see World Cup games and you go ‘oh, that’s a packed stadium’. You want to be part of that,” said Kohli.
“Playing in front of so many people, especially when the majority of them are Indians, is fantastic. In the last game, when everyone sang the national anthem, it was thrilling. I’m sure it’s going to be the same tomorrow.”