After crossing Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli says what gets him going
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After crossing Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli says what gets him going

Virat Kohli believes his stunning record in ODI chases comes from the fact that he can build an attacking mindset after he is set in the middle.

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 07, 2017 19:34 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Kingston (Jamaica)
India vs West Indies,Virat Kohli,India national cricket team
Virat Kohli plays a shot en route to his century against West Indies. (AFP)

It was so hot on Thursday that when India skipper Virat Kohli walked out to speak to the media after his match-winning hundred, he had a tired smile and tried hard to stay on his feet. However, he mustered enough energy to oblige the few Indian fans who had come to watch the final ODI.

His 28th career ton, built with focus and strokes all around the wicket, helped India win the fifth and final ODI by eight wickets, and the series 3-1 against West Indies.

Virat’s century was extra special as it got him past Sachin Tendulkar with the most number of second innings centuries. Compared to Tendulkar’s 49 tons, including 17 in second innings in 463 ODIs, Virat already has 18 second innings tons in 189 matches.

“I like to have the total on the board. You know exactly what you need to do and when to take on the bowlers and which bowlers to take on, at what stage of the game. It becomes easier to read the situation when you have the total on the board,” he said. “When the target is in front of me, it becomes a challenge. That gets me going.”

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Virat’s hundred was built on a conscious effort to avoid rush of blood, especially against short balls. The Sabina Park wicket was fast but batting friendly. Chasing 205, India lost Shikhar Dhawan early.

In the last match, at Antigua, Shikhar and Virat went early and it put pressure on the middle order, which crumbled. On Thursday, he buckled down and paired up with Ajinkya Rahane, putting on 79 and then an unbeaten century partnership with Dinesh Karthik (50no) for the third wicket.

“I don’t like to get out in similar fashion more often. The reason behind success at international level is that you have to stretch the gap between your mistakes. So it was more of getting a little strict with myself and then getting the team across the line. I knew victory was inevitable if I get the hundred,” he added.

Virat began quietly, leaving quite a few deliveries, especially the attempted short ones. However, it wasn’t long before he was gifted with a full-ish delivery which he dispatched to the fence. Soon the short balls started to come in his zone and he ruthlessly sent them past the fence.

READ | Virat Kohli defends lack of experimentation, says ‘can’t bat Kedar at top’

On one of the shots, he swiveled, picking from around off and sent it past the midwicket boundary. The bowlers, of course, had drooped shoulders, knowing the India skipper had dug in.

“If there is a bit of hesitation then you take the route of leaving the ball. But if you can get yourself into a clear mindset and give yourself a target --- say after 30 or 40, I am going to start pulling the ball and taking on the short ball, so the target about when you ought to take on that particular shot becomes clearer. For that, you have to build your mindset sitting by yourself. If you don’t have a clear mindset, then you’ll find it difficult to hit no matter how many times you practice,” said Virat.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 19:28 IST