“Cometh the Hour Cometh the Man” is an old adage which fits in perfectly with Indian captain Virat Kohli’s cricketing philosophy as he reveals how he visualises difficult situations and formulate strategies. No wonder, some of Kohli’s innings across formats have been absolute masterclasses.
“You know, the ability to think otherwise in a difficult situation is something that sets you apart in that situation and actually pulls the team through. So if you are thinking we are three down and I might get out, then you will get out.
“If you are thinking we are three down but I am going to counterattack and get the team back on track, it ends up happening because you are convinced about it,” Kohli said when asked about how he prepares for big games.
“I visualise a lot, and I see myself in difficult situations and actually convince myself that I can pull the team out in those situations. It won’t happen every time, but 8 out of 10 times, it will end up happening because you are so convinced about it,” Kohli explained while addressing the media at a press conference in London.
While that is one aspect of his batting, the Indian captain is not a firm believer of doing too much of homework which can make someone a bit less flexible. “I have never believed in watching too many videos of anyone. I prepare the best way I can. I believe in my abilities, and I feel like if I am good enough, if I am technically good enough, I should be able to counter any bowler that’s bowling to me,” Kohli revealed his pre-game drill.
“I don’t take extra pressure thinking he is bowling from here, what if he doesn’t do that in the game? So I think of those things. I like to go by what I see coming out of the hand. I mean, whether you have played people before or you haven’t, this game, as I said, you cannot guarantee a performance.
“Even the bowlers that you play regularly, on a tour or throughout a series, two matches you’ll be on top of them, third match they can nick you off. It’s basically how you react to every ball that’s bowled to you regardless of whether you’ve played against the guy or you haven’t.
“You have to be good enough to counter it, and that’s the mindset we’ve been playing with in this tournament, and we’re going to try to continue the same,” he elaborated.
Asked if Umesh Yadav could be tried in place of Hardik Pandya, skipper replied in negative. “Not looking to change too many things, because I have said this before, I would back a guy like Hardik, who provides you so much balance in conditions that he can be effective as a bowler, and his batting is priceless.
“If you are chasing a total and you need eight an over and you have lost wickets, he is the guy who can still win you the game. That’s the kind of belief he has in his ability and we have that belief in him,” Kohli said.
“You know, he can give you a match-winning performance in any game that he plays, and a gun fielder, as well. When he bowls well, it’s a total relief for me as a captain because he can get you seven good overs. He can get you a couple of wickets as well. I would not think of changing anything at this particular stage,” said Kohli.