Sun, 22 Sep 2019

'Tired' Virat Kohli pushes himself to match-winning ton

ESPNCricInfo
13 Aug 2019, 04:42 GMT+10

11:54 AM ET

India captain Virat Kohli revealed that he felt "tired" halfway through his innings of 120 against West Indies in the second ODI, but pulled through because one of India's top three had to bat long to get them to a match-winning total.

Kohli ended up hitting his 42nd ODI century, and was out for 120 in the 42nd over, driving India to what proved to be a match-winning 279 for 7.

"Our target is always that one of the top three has to make a big score," Kohli said on bcci.tv. "Shikhar [Dhawan] and Rohit [Sharma] have done it consistently in the past few months. I've done it when I've got the opportunity. Today, since neither of them got a big score, it was important that I stay for a longer time so that we can get to about 275-280.

"Honestly, I was very tired after getting to 60-65, but the situation was such that I had to bat long, and I had to push myself to work a bit harder for the team. If you think about the team, even if you're tired you get energy from somewhere. But it was quite challenging, also because there had been rain on the day and when the weather is like that it gets even hotter, so it was very humid too."

Elaborating on the lifestyle changes he has adopted and his fitness drive, Kohli said that not being at 100% meant you were not doing justice to your team.

"My mindset has always been simple: that I should contribute to the team in some way. If there's an important catch, I want to take it; if there is a crucial run-out, I want to make it," Kohli said. "I think every player should make their lifestyle and discipline in such a way that on the field you can give your full effort. If you are not giving your full effort on the field, then I don't think you are doing justice to your team. The way my lifestyle, training, recovery and diet is, all of it is geared towards making me contribute to the team in every way I can. So on tough days like these, when you have to run a lot for your runs, and in the field also you know the situation demands that you need to make an effort, it [his regimen] helps at those moments, and these small things can make a big difference."

Though Kohli's innings tired him, on the field he still found energy to break into a jig, at one point even celebrating with Chris Gayle when the latter went past Brian Lara's run tally in ODIs. Kohli put his good spirits down to being in a good space in his life.

"I'm enjoying myself on the field. It is a blessing [to play cricket for India]. I don't follow a typical mould that if I'm captain I have to stand all seriously," Kohli said. "I think it's important to enjoy these moments. If there's music playing, dance. Crack jokes with the opposition players too. I'm just in a very good space in my life, which is why I start dancing wherever I hear music."

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