India’s tour of England in 2014 does not hold best of the place in Virat Kohli‘s career. The right-handed batsman struggled on tour and averaged just 13.40 in five Test matches. Moreover, in four One-Day Internationals (ODI) he managed to score just 54, out of which 40 came in one innings. However, in one-off T20 Kohli had scored 66, his highest on tour. Now the Indian captain has revealed that during the tour he was desperate to do well and that perhaps led to his failure.

“I had put too much pressure on myself before going to England that I needed to score here. I don’t know why sub-continent players are given different benchmarks that we have to perform in certain countries and if you don’t do that, you are not considered a good player”, said Kohli, talking to former England captain Nasser Hussain on bcci.tv.

“I think it was more about me being desperate to do well in England and then when you don’t do well at the start, you start going down mentally,” the Indian captain added. Also Read- Will make sure Indian cricket stays on top till the last day I play: Virat Kohli

NOT IN A RIGHT FRAME OF MIND

Kohli believed that he was not in a right mindset and because of that he struggled with the bat. “Technique is important, but even people with not that strong technique have been able to score well there because of a good mindset. The problem with me was that I was expecting in-swingers too much and opened up my hip a lot more than I should have done. I was constantly looking for the in-swinger and was in no position to counter the out-swing,” said Kohli.

He added, “I used to stand at two-leg (middle stump) and my stance was pretty closed. Then I figured out that after initial movement my toe wasn’t going towards point. Rather, it was towards cover-point, so anyway my hip was opening up initially.
“So to get the feel of the ball, I had to open up my hip as I was too side-on. Anyway, I had too much of a bottom-hand grip and I didn’t have too much room for my shoulder, to adjust to the line of the ball, so it was getting too late when it swung in front of my eyes.”

THE ADJUSTMENTS

“I did some drills, making sure someone is recording me from the side. Every time, I played the ball, I wanted to make sure that my toe is pointing in towards point rather than cover. That’s how I kept my hip nice and side-on and gave myself room. I widened my stance as well so that I have good balance when I wanted to go forward,” he said. Also Check- When MS Dhoni bypassed Virat Kohli to opt for DRS

PRECISE PRACTICE

“Short ball was not an issue for me. That really helped me in widening my stance and that forward press (front foot stride) that is important at the international level. So in Australia, I wasn’t worried about pace and bounce as I knew that I could handle it.
“This change has become easy now, but it was not so at the beginning. I was batting three hours a day. I had cramps in my forearms by the end of the week.

File photo of Virat Kohli celebrating after reaching his century during the Third Test at MCG in 2014 | Getty Images
File photo of Virat Kohli celebrating after reaching his century during the Third Test at MCG in 2014 | Getty Images

“I did that for about 10 days. You know in golf they say you have to hit a shot 400-500 times before you can perfect that shot. So it was more about precise practice as I wanted to tune my head to play that way. I wasn’t used to forward pressing as I was waiting for the ball to clip it off my leg or waiting for short ball.”

Kohli on Sunday guided his side to an impressive win while scoring 120. It was Kohli’s first match after being appointed as a full-time captain. Kohli along with youngster Kedar Jadhav stitched a 200-run stand after India were tottering at 63 for four.

Over the years, Kohli has been instrumental in India’s success. The right-hander now holds the record for most centuries in successful chases, 15, which was previously held by Sachin Tendulkar.