It all started in the West Delhi Cricket Academy, under the watchful eyes of Mr. Rajkumar Sharma. Virat Kohli, the now star Indian batsman and skipper of the national team, went to the Academy at a very young age and his journey began under the supervision of Mr. Sharma. Virat always admits that it is because of Mr. Sharma, his childhood coach and mentor, that he has established himself in the world of cricket. In a recent chat with the CrickerSoccer.com, Mr. Sharma disclosed how desperate Virat was to prove a point or two by scoring runs on English soil. He also revealed that Virat has no bad feeling about his failure during India’s last tour to England four years back.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): You must be a happy coach as Virat has already scored 440 runs in the ongoing test series, including 2 centuries and two half-centuries.
Rajkumar Sharma (RS): And it’s not over yet. He will definitely play some big knocks in the rest two matches. Virat was desperate to prove himself on English soil. And as of now, he has done exceptionally brilliant. Yes, I’m very happy. And I believe that this Indian team has the potential to win the test series down under.
CS: His failure in England four years back must make him more desperate this time to prove the critics wrong…
RS: To be very honest, Virat never see things like this. He believes that it was a learning experience for him. He is a better batsman today and it was perhaps impossible if he didn’t go through the tough time four years back. He never gets demoralized by the failure in that series. So it doesn’t make him more desperate. His only challenge was to prove that he can handle the English condition and score runs. And he is successful in achieving the goal.
CS: This test series against England was considered to be the acid test for Virat…
RS: Look, scoring hundreds isn’t something new, but to counter the pressure put by the English bowlers and to show the determination that he did bring a smile to my face. I have been hearing a lot about how this was the biggest test that awaited Kohli. I am happy that he silenced them with the bat. I am a proud coach now.
CS: Which innings was most challenging for him in the ongoing series?
RS: The century that he scored at Edgbaston. If you saw the innings, you would have seen how he was constantly stealing singles, converting singles into doubles. In an innings that lasted 225 balls, you can only do that when you are supremely fit. The point that needs to be noted is that Kohli spends as much time working on his cricketing skills as he does on improving his fitness. That is the most impressive and special part about him.
CS: What technical adjustments has he brought in keeping in mind the wickets and the condition in England?
RS: He has made some changes. As, for example, he is taking stance some 1 foot outside the crease. It enables him to manage swing comfortably. In England, the only thing that threatens a batsman is the amount of swing. Virat has managed it easily. He has made some other changes as well, which I don’t wish to disclose. He is looking more confident now.
CS: How are you seeing India’s chance of winning the series?
RS: Yes, they have a chance of winning the series. They have come back on the right track. The victory in Trent Bridge would give them a lot of confidence. They have potential. Only they have to apply themselves on the ground.