Manchester: Virat Kohli beat the record held by the two legendary batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara when he became the fastest batsman to reach the 20,000 run mark in international cricket. He has done it in only 417 innings compared to Tendulkar and Lara who both took 453 innings to reach there.
So how does Kohli, who top-scored for India against the Windies with a knock of 72 runs on a tough wicket, and also played a fighting knock against Afghanistan on yet another difficult wicket, make the wickets turn easy for him?
Indian opener Lokesh Rahul, who batted with him in both matches, was asked what Kohli does differently that helps him bat smoothly when the others struggle. Rahul had only one thing to say. “I think nothing. I don't think he's doing anything different. He's been doing the same thing for however long I can remember since the time he started playing cricket. He has been performing consistently no matter what the condition is or who the bowlers are. He always finds a way to get runs and put the bowlers under pressure."
But the opener did reveal that batting with his skipper makes things easy for him. “Since the focus is mainly on Kohli, one can get away with some boundaries,” he said cheekily.
Rahul believes that whoever watches him can get inspired to do well too. “What is great to see and inspiring for us as a team is to learn from him and probably understand and have the same kind of passion and go out into every game wanting to do well for the country.”
West Indies’s Kemar Roach also bowled brilliantly despite the wicket not being helpful. His spell of 3 for 36 restricted India from making a huge score. “Virat is a class player. It's always tough coming up against him. He's a fighter. I think it was a pretty slow pitch for us. But what's important is about being consistent as a bowler, putting the balls in the right area. There was enough there for us and it showed. Despite the conditions, I think we bowled pretty well as a bowling group today. To restrict India to 260 was a decent job. Then again, that's all part of cricket.”