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Virat Kohli reveals how he imparts his batting knowledge to captaincy

Ram Kumar
600   //    25 Jul 2016, 23:25 IST
Virat Kohli
Kohli watches the ball intently from the slips

Satisfied with India’s performance in the 1st Test against West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, skipper Virat Kohli has shared an insight on how he sets up opposition batsmen by utilizing his prowess with the bat.

The 27-year-old felt, “The one thing that I try to do is think as a batsman which is very important. You can read a batsman's body language and figure out where he is trying to score his runs. Unless a guy is playing shots all round the wicket, because then it is very difficult to set a field.”

He elaborated, “But if someone is predominantly looking to set up, get in and score his runs one side of the wicket or not play a particular stroke then you pick up these things and set a field accordingly to make him do that. It's all about getting into the batsman's head and creating that pressure to make him make that mistake.”

After winning the toss on a hard surface, Kohli cruised to a maiden double century which enabled the visitors to pile on a massive first-innings total and apply scoreboard pressure. However, the right-hander credited his bowling unit for being ruthless in their approach.

Kohli quipped, “We know that any team can go easy on the opposition when you have 560-570 runs. But what's important is to still have the mindset of defending 350 even when you have 560. Because when you have a low score on the board, that helps you repeat those things again and you don't have to do anything different to suddenly defend a small total.”

Also Read: India vs West Indies 2016, 1st Test: Rating the Indian cricketers

One of the more discernible improvements during their clinical victory was in the fielding department. Suitably, Kohli heaped praise on his players for not offering any let-up through a strong effort in the field.

He believed, “That's what Test cricket is all about. It's not just about what's happening with the bat or ball on the pitch, it's about what's happening in the head as well. It's about how you create momentum for the bowler and the environment around a batsman where he makes that mistake.”

“That's where Test cricket is very different from other formats of the game which I don't think people realize too much. That's the challenge for any cricketer in this format, to overcome this and do well. That's why it's so testing and so demanding of the players.”

Having taken a 1-0 lead, India would hope to build on their momentum in the second Test which starts in Jamaica from Saturday onwards.

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Ram Kumar
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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