Virat Kohli on MS Dhoni finding form: The Indian captain was vocal about batting in tense situations with the former captain.
India chasing down 299 against Australia at Adelaide a couple of days ago wouldn’t have been possible due to the wicket-keeper batsman-duo of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 57-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
However, one cannot underplay the role of an 82-run stand between India captain Virat Kohli and Dhoni for the fourth wicket. Perhaps, it was this partnership which laid down the foundation for India’s six-wicket victory. Had India lost another wicket near the 30th over with more than 130 runs required to win the match, the chase might have been done there and then only.
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Confession: Kohli might be my favourite cricketer since Lillee.
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While Karthik laid emphasis on absorbing pressure being Dhoni’s strength, Kohli was vocal about how batting with the veteran comes off as great help for him. Kohli expressed his views on Chahal TV, hosted by India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
“I think it is very important to slow down the game in such situations [fall of a wicket in a tight chase]. Strike-rotation becomes very important. When Mahi bhai [Dhoni] comes out to bat, he talks a lot, which is very helpful.
“There are times when you are doubtful about playing a big shot and it is when he always reminds you about the time left in the match. The reason why we bat well together is because we take the game towards the end. At the same time, we also keep adding the singles and doubles,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
While Kohli highlighted the importance of running between the wickets and scoring runs without the boundaries, there was a six-over phase where he took on the opposition bowlers, scoring 49 runs alongside Dhoni. Talking about the same, Kohli labelled it under ‘calculated risk’ which a batsman has to take.
“There was a phase when I played attacking shots. It was a calculated risk which you have to take in the middle. That is why you are selected in the Indian team. I think one should work mentally on it. I think about such a situation where the team is in some trouble and me turning tables from there. Once you are mentally convinced, performing in tough situations become easy,” Kohli added.
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It’s been a privilege to have seen some great Kohli centuries. It was a privilege to have seen this one.
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Talking particularly about Dhoni and him scoring two consecutive half-centuries, Kohli said that Dhoni’s form is relaxing for the whole team for the team can bank on him then.
“It has been his classic style of playing from years now. We saw a bit of that. When you don’t play international cricket regularly, it becomes difficult to go from the word go. It takes time to get accustomed to overseas conditions. The more he plays, the better it will be for him.
“If he finds his flow, it is very relaxing for the whole team for we can bank on him then. I’m sure he must be feeling special after playing such an innings at Adelaide. We really like it when he performs well,” he concluded.