Unfazed Kohli’s Stellar Performance in Mumbai
Despite a shaky start in Mumbai, Virat Kohli remained composed, surviving an early lbw review off Tim Southee’s bowling. Unlike Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who started with a bang, Kohli took a more cautious approach. He scored at a pace slightly below a run a ball during the initial phase of his innings, eventually finishing with an impressive 117 from 113 balls, guiding India to a formidable 397/4.
Setting the Stage for India’s Late Onslaught
Kohli’s knock set the stage for Shreyas Iyer (105 off 70 balls), KL Rahul (39* from 20), and a returning Gill, who ended with 80* from 66 balls, to unleash a late onslaught. New Zealand, in response, fell 70 runs short, getting bowled out for 327.
Shastri’s Observations on Kohli’s Composure
In a conversation with Brian Murgatroyd on The ICC Review podcast, Ravi Shastri highlighted Kohli’s body language as an indicator of his confidence and calmness at the crease. He noted that Kohli’s composed demeanor, even in situations where others might falter, was a testament to his mental strength.
Kohli’s Approach to Batting
Shastri observed that Kohli’s approach to batting has evolved over the years. Unlike his early days when he was eager to score quickly, Kohli now takes his time, absorbs the pressure, and understands the importance of batting deep into the innings.
Kohli’s Record-Breaking Ton
Kohli’s composed innings led him to a record-breaking century, and he paid tribute to the man he surpassed, basking in the applause from the crowd. Shastri, who has closely observed Kohli as a coach, believes that Kohli’s hard work off the field is what gives him the edge over his opponents.
Key Factors in Kohli’s Success
When asked about the key factors contributing to Kohli’s success, Shastri pointed to a combination of mental adjustments, technical refinements, and a strong emphasis on fitness. He noted that Kohli’s meticulous preparation allows him to remain calm and composed at the start of his innings, and his shot selection in the initial phase of his innings is particularly noteworthy.
Kohli’s Fitness and Running Between the Wickets
Shastri highlighted Kohli’s strict diet and rigorous fitness regimen as key factors in his ability to score runs through running between the wickets, rather than relying solely on boundaries. This, according to Shastri, takes the pressure off Kohli, allowing him to keep the scoreboard ticking even when boundaries are hard to come by.
Kohli’s Future in Cricket
Even at 35, Kohli’s emphasis on fitness suggests that he could continue to play at the highest level for a few more years. Shastri believes it would be unwise to rule out the possibility of Kohli matching Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 centuries. He noted that Kohli’s current tally of 80 international hundreds, including 50 in one-day internationals, is already an incredible feat.
Shastri’s Prediction for Kohli
Shastri suggested that Kohli could potentially score another five hundreds in his next ten innings. Considering that Kohli plays in all three formats of the game and could have another three to four years of cricket ahead of him, Shastri believes the prospect of Kohli reaching Tendulkar’s record is not out of the question.