Just keeping it simple: Kohli
Colombo, Jul 31: These days when Virat Kohli walks in to the crease with his bat, it seems he can do no wrong. He has been piling on runs like a machine since the last year and a half and is raking up match-winning scores one after the other.
Virat’s most recent success came in the fourth match of the ongoing ODI series in Sri Lanka. He scored an unbeaten 128 off 119 balls, becoming the quickest to reach 13 ODI centuries. His effort enabled India to chase down 252 on a slowish Colombo wicket and seal the five-match series with a game to spare. In the process, he also notched up 1000 calendar runs for 2012.
It is fair to say that Virat is going through a patch that is rich deep purple in colour. While accepting yet another Man-of-the-match award, the 23-year-old spoke of how disappointed he was on missing out on a big score after getting set in the third ODI and how he worked to correct his mistakes.
You’re going through a dream run.
It’s going good for me. I’m just trying to keep it simple. I missed out on a good opportunity in the last game; got set and got out which I think is a crime when batting at No.3. I was very disappointed with the way I got out in the last game and thought a lot about it. I practised a lot in the nets for taking singles and not getting bogged down in the middle overs. That worked for me today.
Out of your 13 ODI centuries, 12 have come in victories. That must really please you.
It always pleases a sportsperson or a cricketer when you perform and your team wins. If I score and the team wins, there’s no bigger satisfaction than that and my main motivation is to make the team win. If I can do that every now and then, I’ll be really happy.
You play Malinga better than most other batsmen. Is there any secret way to handle him?
Luckily I’m strong on the leg-side; that’s the shot that comes naturally to me. He’s a kind of bowler, if you don’t get on top of him, he’ll change the game in his team’s favour. I back myself to hit through the leg-side as his strength is the yorker and I can pretty much see the ball well when I’m set. But you cannot take him lightly in any game.
Even while rebuilding the team’s innings you look to maintain a high strike-rate. Does that help you in the end?
It always helps if you can maintain a strike-rate of about 78-85. In the last game I didn’t have that strike-rate to help the team set up the needed platform and I tried to correct it today. It’s right that if you maintain a scoring rate of 80 throughout your inning, it becomes easy to accelerate in the end.