A match-winning knock was what Virat Kohli needed, to end his run of poor scores. Back is his confidence that often borders on arrogance. His ‘attitude’ remains a talking point among former players turned ‘experts’ and fellow players alike.
This talented youngster, already seen by many as a future India captain, has the potential to be an asset to the National team in all three forms of the game. But Kohli’s periodic touch of casualness has often caused his downfall.
Upbeat after his 79-ball 77 helped India take a 2-1 lead with two matches to go in the series, Kohli looked ahead with optimism. “I wasn’t feeling the same way as many people were feeling about my form, to be honest. No one can keep scoring consistently. There is always a balance in international cricket where you will get a phase where you won’t score in four-five games.
“It was a bit annoying for me because I was not getting out making too many mistakes. I got a few good balls in the last series and made two mistakes in this series. So it is all about working hard in the nets regularly and just staying calm. If you get frustrated, you tend to extend that kind of lean phase. You’ve got to be positive.”
Asked which his favourite position in the batting order is, Kohli responded, “Number three has been working fine for me.
“So this position I sort of like, the pressure situation going in. And I like to finish off games as well, so it sort of gives me the right platform to do the job.”
Given the comfort zone the Indian batting seems to be getting into, it was natural to ask Kohli whether it would have been any different had Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, James Anderson and Stuart Broad been part of the ODI team, too.
Very good cricket
“That was the ECB’s choice to rest them. It wasn’t meant to be like that, if it was the players’ personal choice. We were ready to play the full Test team that played here, so we prepared like that. Even the guys that have come in have been impressive. It is just that we played very good cricket in the last two games. There are still two more games to go and we have to play good cricket consistently, to be able to beat them,” he said.
Kohli felt that in the Test series, English batsmen showed great temperament but praised the Indian bowlers for their efforts in the ODIs.
“In the Test series, you had more time to see off the (Indian) bowlers. But in one-day cricket, you have to play a few shots. Our bowlers were able to create good pressure on their batsmen and that’s what made them make the mistakes they made. There were a few good balls and am not taking anything away from our bowlers.”
Earlier, England’s spinner James Tredwell agreed that one more bad day could end the series.
“We go into every game trying to win it, regardless of how the series is standing. It is in the back of your mind. But you have to focus on the next ball and then hopefully things take care of themselves as far as the results are concerned.”