‘I want to bat on this dangerous wicket’: When a rigid Virat Kohli ignored coach’s advice and batted on ‘horrible pitch’

Feb 01, 2023 01:38 PM IST

Virat Kohli is renowned globally for his batting masterclass but there is another thing, which separates him from the rest is his aggressive demeanor.

Virat Kohli is renowned globally for his batting masterclass but there is another thing, which separates him from the rest is his aggressive demeanor. His antics on the pitch has often left the fans mesmerised, and R Sridhar in his newly launched book “COACHING BEYOND: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team” narrates another interesting episode, which depicts his strong mentality.

Former India captain Virat Kohli(AFP)
Former India captain Virat Kohli(AFP)

Sridhar, who was the former fielding coach of the Indian men's cricket team, recalled days from 2018, when the Indian unit was present in South Africa for a full-fledged series, consisting all the three formats.

Sridhar said while India were preparing for the Test series, which India lost 1-2, the visitors were provided with a county ground for practice and most were seen batting on the centre wicket and the pitches beside it remained unused due to it's dangerous nature.

However, Kohli quickly padded up and decided to bat on the unused tracks despite the warning by the support staff. He instead asked the throwdown specialists to bowl at him at full throttle, displaying his approach towards new challenges.

"Before that England series, we were in South Africa in January 2018 preparing for a Test series. They had given us a county ground for practice. The pitches were horrible. There was one centre wicket on which we were practicing, but the side wickets at Western Province in Cape Town were far from ideal.

India's predicted XI vs New Zealand 3rd T20I: Prithvi Shaw likely to make comeback; 29-year-old star in line for debut

“Virat saw that nobody was batting on the wicket because it could be a bit dangerous. He quickly padded up, called Sanjay, Raghu and myself and said he wanted to bat. We tried to dissuade him, but he was adamant he wanted to bat on the surface. ‘I want it to be dangerous, I want to bat on this dangerous wicket and I want Raghu to bowl at his fastest.’ That is what he did. He did that every time. He put himself under severe distress in difficult conditions and ensured he overcame it. So he was honing his skill, he was also sharpening himself mentally," the former fielding coach wrote recalling the incident.

While Kohli's hardwork definitely paid off as he finished as the leading run-scorer in Test series, accumulating 286 runs from three outings, which included one century and the same number of half-century.

Also Read | 'You didn't do a favour to Pakistan': Shoaib Akhtar snaps at PCB, Mohammad Amir amid calls of international return

He then carried forward the form in England, where India were thrashed 4-1 in the five-match Test series. On English soil, Kohli once again finished as the leading run-scorer from the series as he managed 593 runs in the five outings, which included two centuries and three half-centuries.

Fast forward to 2023, Kohli is in tremendous form and will hope to notch similar performances in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is scheduled to start ftom February 9 in Nagpur.

Catch all the Latest Cricket News and Live score along with IPL 2023 and IPL schedule related updates on Hindustan Times

    At HT Sports Desk, passionate reporters work round the clock to provide detailed updates from the world of sports. Expect nuanced match reports, previews,reviews, technical analysis based on statistics, the latest social media trends, expert opinions on cricket, football, tennis, badminton, hockey,motorsports, wrestling, boxing, shooting, athletics and much more.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, April 02, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals