The 2014 tour of England is one that saw current India skipper Virat Kohli struggle against the swinging Dukes ball in English conditions. With scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests of that tour, he averaged just 13.50 in his 10 innings. However, Kohli doesn’t see the tour as a disappointment.
“It was basically about not adjusting to the conditions and doing things that I wanted to do and being rigid about it,” Kohli told Mayank Agarwal on bcci.tv.
“Being rigid about anything doesn’t get you anywhere. It was a long and painful realisation but I realised it. The 2014 tour is always going to be a milestone in my career. I really had to sit down and change things about how I approach the game before that tour, the way I played the game and start being more fearless.
“I realised that in Test cricket when it gets tough, to maintain your composure is the most difficult thing for a cricketer and that was something which I really needed to correct.
“If that tour hadn’t happened, I would have continued the same way I was and wouldn’t have improved. That tour made me think how I approach my international career and do I just want to be a pushover every time I play Test cricket. That’s a decision I had to make.”
Kohli revealed that after that England tour where India were defeated 3-1 in the five-Test series, Ravi Shastri offered him a piece of advice which worked wonders for him.
“Ravi bhai called me and Shikhar to his room,” said Kohli. “His understanding was very sharp. He told me to stand outside the crease and explained the mindset behind it. He also asked me if I was afraid of the short ball. I said, ‘I wasn’t afraid of the short-pitched balls. I am not afraid to get hurt, I just don’t want to get out’.
“I started practising that in Australia in the same year and the results were unbelievable.”