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India vs England: Virat Kohli, on a scoring spree, credits changed mindset

Edgbaston was the third major Test where Virat Kohli has delivered with the bat as skipper but the team lost. His 141 in the Adelaide Test of 2014-15 and 153 against South Africa in Centurion in January too ended in defeats.

cricket Updated: Aug 09, 2018 11:08 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, London
India vs England,Virat Kohli,India Cricket team
Virat Kohli struck his first century and half-century in England in the first Test at Edgbaston. (AFP)

Virat Kohli said four years ago that you can be aggressive even while playing a defensive shot. As his batting graph soars, the India skipper explained that while he has honed technique, his mental approach has played a crucial role.

Kohli has climbed to world No 1 in Test rankings after a brilliant 141 in the first Test against England at Edgbaston. Though fans and expert eagerly await more from him, they also wonder how as captain, he can galvanise his team and ensure his heroics turn into winnings knocks in a series that India trail 1-0.

Edgbaston was the third major Test where Kohli has delivered with the bat as skipper but the team lost. His 141 in the Adelaide Test of 2014-15 and 153 against South Africa in Centurion in January too ended in defeats.

Virat Kohli took over from MS Dhoni during the 2014-15 Australia series, and since then, the extra responsibility has only strengthened his batting resolve. It has been clear the India skipper has left no gap in preparation.

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Kohli said batsmen Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane, who flopped in the first Test that India lost by 31 runs, too put in lot of hard work, but it was essentially up to them to find a way to counter tough conditions.

“I leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting in there, talking to the guys wherever I can, from the strategy point of view as well. Sometimes it doesn’t come off. It is not like we are getting rolled over or dominated (overseas). Any Test we play, we are competitive. That is something people overlook very easily,” he told a news conference on Wednesday, ahead of the second Test at Lord’s.

“When the result comes, then they will realise this team is very competitive. We definitely are in the zone and understand if we tweak a few things here and there, we should be on the right side of the result.”

Kohli has been proactive with his technique, be it standing outside the crease to negate swing, or showing patience against Jimmy Anderson’s line outside off-stump. That has not been the case with the others.

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“It is about going out and being positive about every situation you are in and not about thinking what is going to happen. It is just about seeing the ball and reacting according to the ball.

“Sometimes as a batsman (the reason) I have faltered in the past is I have thought maybe I will get a good ball somewhere and look to tide over at that particular time. That is something that has pulled me back.

“Now, I am in a zone where I have to respect a good ball, back my ability and play for as long as I can. You are definitely going to get out, you just delay that. It is not that you can’t get out in sport and in cricket. You just have to try and delay that eventuality, which as batsman we all try to achieve.”

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 09:08 IST