Virat Kohli understands his role in the team perfectly and does not require a lot of attention from the coaches, said India batting coach Vikram Rathour. Kohli on Wednesday scaled unprecedented heights when he smacked his 50th ODI century and went past the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in terms of getting most tons in the format. Kohli scored 117 here at the Wankhede Stadium to fire India to a massive 397 for 4, the highest-ever total for any team in the history of World Cup semifinals.
The total proved beyond New Zealand’s reach as they folded for 327 in the penultimate over of their chase with Indian pacer Mohammed Shami taking 7 for 57 to do the job for India again.
“He (Kohli) understands his cricket and we just help him prepare,” Rathour told the media here on Wednesday after India qualified for the World Cup final with a 70-run win over New Zealand.
“If he needs to ask anything he comes and asks, otherwise we let him be. He knows what he has to do now, that he needs to get in the right mindspace and he is in a good mindspace. He bats the way he wants to.” Rathour said the mood in the dressing room was of delight as Kohli’s century propelled India into the first World Cup final in 12 years.
“More importantly winning the semifinal and getting into the final, that was really good. Of course, Virat scoring his 50th hundred was really special. He keeps working really hard on his cricket and fitness. He is still really hungry to score more runs,” he said.
The former India opener said being able to execute their plans well has been the success mantra of the team under Rohit Sharma.
“They all have been working really hard and prepared well for this tournament. It is good to see that all the game plans have been executed well. We always believed that we have a very well-settled and intelligent batting group. We adapted very well to the conditions and situations,” he said.
Rathour said the Indian team management deserved credit for keeping players like Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin in the right mindframe despite the two experienced campaigners not getting enough matches.
“He (Shami) is a special bowler, he is bowling really well. The reason why he missed the first few games is due to the combination we were looking to play – it was tough to get him into the team.
“The credit again to the management, he was in a great mindspace even when he was not playing. We can see the best spinner in the world sitting out,” he said.
The India batting coach revealed that since the time Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the World Cup, he has been working more with the Indian tailenders including Kuldeep Yadav.
“Since we had an injury to Hardik, we knew that our batting maybe slightly short. Those are the four people I have been really working hard with. They have been working hard, they actually ask to get batting (practice),” he said.
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