Kohli Wants His Batsmen to Be ‘Composed’, Not ‘Aggressive’

Virat Kohli’s team India has come close to finish a match but has fallen short a couple of times in the last eight months.

Cricket news: It is unfortunate to come close and not cross the line, says Kohli

First it was in the tour of South Africa, India were chasing 208 to win in the first Test at Cape Town, but lost the game by 72 runs.

The similar scenario repeated again in the ongoing tour of England, where in the first Test at Edgbaston, India lost the match by 31 runs having been given a target of 194.

In the Edgbaston Test, Kohli was the standout batsman from the Indian contingent as he scored 149 in the first innings and 51 in the second innings.

But despite the honours, it was deeply hurt, not because the other batsmen failed but because of the fact that India lost the game.

“It is unfortunate that we haven’t been able to cross the line after being so close,” Kohli said ahead of second Test. “That is the only thing we are looking at as a side: how we cross the line. It doesn’t matter whether I get runs or Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] does or [M] Vijay does or KL [Rahul] does or whoever in the batting order. As long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters.”

All the frontline batsmen failed except Kohli, who served as the anchor and also the shepherd for the lower order. However he said that it would be unfair to judge the batsmen so quickly for their failure.

Kohli has said that there is no such “pattern” for success, the batsmen just have to be mentally strong to face the first 30-odd deliveries.

“It is not so much about the technical, but more about the mental aspect,” he explained. “How you think about the situations, about the first 20, 25, 30 balls, after the fall of a wicket, matters a lot. You must have a clear plan about what to do in those 30 balls, and, more often than not, that plan should not involve aggression. We need to focus on composure, which as a batting unit we have discussed.”

The fact that Kohli has said about aggression is important as Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul got out by attempting to play aggressively and score early on in the innings.

Kohli has given his own example from the past where he used to have rash thoughts while waiting for the ball and did not play based on the merit.

Kohli has said that it is important to show durability and stay as long as possible in the crease to become successful in a Test match.

“It is just about going out and being positive about every situation that you are in and not thinking too much about what is going to happen. It is about looking at the ball and reacting according to the ball. Sometimes, as a batsman, where I have faltered in the past is I have thought maybe I will get a good ball somewhere and lose sight of what I need to do at that particular time.

“That is something that has pulled me back. But now I am in a zone where I have to respect a good ball and just back my ability and play for as long as I can. It is not that you can’t get out in sport and in cricket. You just have to try and delay that eventuality as much as possible which as batsman we all try and achieve.”