In a chat to IPLT20.com with Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli talked about a networking session that helped him get back in between races. Kohli made 73 off 54 balls during the opening innings against the Gujarat Titans at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. His highest score this IPL season included sixty-eight. The RCB was chasing the 170 and the Kohli-du Plessis Partnership worth 115 in 14.3 overs gave them a solid start.
Du Plessis asked him about the process before the match, and Kohli zoomed in on the 90-minute curling session which he believes helped. More than just batting in the net, it’s how Kohli looks at takeaway from the net that stands out.
“It was a very difficult period, there is no doubt about it. There are a lot of uncontrollable things on the field and I have experienced that this season. The only thing that stood out for me was my preparations in the net (a day before the last game). I hit About 90 minutes on the go.All I was trying to do was get into a positive state of mind with every ball I played.
“I wasn’t thinking about whether the ball turned, or what if it swayed or swayed, I was just watching the ball and acting. I tell myself to make the most positive choice I can make. I extended that into the game today. There are moments when you feel a little suspicious. But as soon as the player runs towards the bowl, you have to tell yourself, just watch the ball and hit it.”
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One of those potential moments of doubt came very early in the piece when Mohamed Shami got the ball just to hit the surface backwards. In the past few games, we’ve seen Kohli approach similar balls tentatively. Umesh Yadav had managed to make it bend away with a ricochet of the same length, and he had been stabbed into an edge. In another match, Dushmantha Chameera’s players ran hard and Kohli tried to ride the bouncing ball in his normally zigzag way, but was unable to save it.
But this time, his response was different. He bent forward to smear it up, across the line, and sent it flying halfway. This, he says, was exactly what he had planned for the curling session. “The first shot I played against Al-Shami felt that way [that this could be his day]. It was a long ball and he hit it on the head.
If I can hit a long ball over a player’s head for six or four, I know I’m in a good space because I’m not bothered with throwing the balls in the correct areas. If I can hit good balls, I know I’ll get balls where I can hit four balls,” he told Bhogle.