Got going when I stopped trying to be a slogger: Kohli

Hyderabad: Indian skipper Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Evin Lewis during the first T20I match between India and the West Indies at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Dec 6, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Hyderabad, Dec 6 (IANS) India captain Virat Kohli said that he was able to turn a corner during his innings against the West Indies here on Friday when he reminded himself that he was not a slogger and that he should go back to depending on his strength, which was to time the ball well.

Kohli scored a masterful unbeaten 94 off 50 balls in an innings that was a hark back to his younger flamboyant self as India chased down a target of 207 with eight balls and six wickets to spare in the first T20I between the two sides.

He, however, struggled to up the strike rate in the early part of his innings.

“All the young batsmen watching don’t follow the first half of my innings. That was really bad and I was trying to hit the ball too hard,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“It was just about keeping up to the game because I didn’t want to put KL (Rahul) under pressure, so I tried to strike at 140 at least, but I couldn’t get going properly.

“I analysed what went wrong and played accordingly in the second half of my innings. I was trying to hold my shape and realised that I am not a slogger, so I tried to rely on my timing. Whenever I play T20 cricket, I am not someone who comes to the ground to hit the ball in the air to entertain the crowd. I focus on doing the job,” he added.

With the West Indies bowlers trying to get into Kohli’s head on a number of occasions, the India captain used more than his bat at times to reply. He even gave Kesrick Williams the latter’s notebook celebration after hitting him for a six.

When asked if the celebration was inspired by the Carribean Premier League (CPL), Kohli said that it was actually a reply to a previous incident between the two players.

“It’s not the CPL, it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I’ll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end. That’s what you want to see. Good competitive cricket, but in the end shake hands and give a high five. That’s what cricket is all about. Play it hard, but have respect for opponents,” Kohli said.

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