Made a conscious decision of improving my strike-rate: Kohli

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09 Sep 2022 | 06:51 AM
authorAakash Sivasubramaniam

Made a conscious decision of improving my strike-rate: Kohli

Virat Kohli also opened up on his discussion with the current head coach, Rahul Dravid

The 33-year-old Virat Kohli finally ended his century drought, with a scintillating 122 off 61 balls in India’s final Super four clash against Afghanistan on Thursday. Prior to the Asia Cup, one of Kohli’s chinks in the armour was his strike-rate in the middle-overs, especially against spin. 

Numerous times in the past, the right-hander has had a torrid time against spinners in the middle-overs in the Indian Premier League. However, in a conscious attempt this Asia Cup, the right-hander has scored at a strike-rate of 127 during the middle-overs, averaging 113. His strike-rate against spin reads at 125.4 in the tournament, suggesting a healthy increase. 

In a candid chat with Indian skipper, Rohit Sharma, Kohli opened up on the century, stating that it was a conscious decision to improve his strike-rate during the middle-overs phase of the innings, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup in Australia. 

"I had to play in this way because our aim is the World Cup,” said Kohli. So, if I play well, then I can contribute more to the team. So, these were the plans. When I talked to Rahul Dravid, he told me about how I can improve while batting first, improve my strike-rate during the middle phases. So, my main goal was, to look at things I need to improve from the team's point of view and try to work on them during the Asia Cup,” he added. 

While the right-hander cleared that there was no sort of change from a technique stand-point, the big break that he got leading into the Asia Cup allowed him to play with complete freedom. 

"For me personally, since I came back into the team. I got a big break after a long time when I didn't even touch the bat. So, there were a lot of things that came into perspective. After that, the communication from you guys and the team management was clear,” Kohli insisted. 

“It was just let me bat. For me, that was important. The space that you guys afforded me, I felt very relaxed during this phase and when I came back, I was excited to see how I can contribute to the team,” he added. 

Kohli reiterated that T20I was the last format the believed he would score a century to break the drought, that has now lasted for 1020 days. While stating that, the 33-year-old insisted that finding the sweet-spot between singles, doubles and boundaries helped him regain his mojo in the shortest format. 

"I didn't expect it myself and I was shocked that I would score a century first in this format. I was pleasantly surprised and I feel very grateful and honoured right now," said Kohli.

“My aim was always to play all three-formats. I just banked on good cricketing shots. I always came into every tournament that six hitting isn’t a big strength of mine. As long as I can keep finding the boundaries, it helps my confidence as well. I brought my game back to the template and that has helped me. If the demand of the situation is to up the strike-rate, I should be able to,” he concluded.

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India vs AfghanistanAsia Cup, 2022IndiaVirat KohliRohit Sharma

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