Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour lauded Virat Kohli’s impeccable understanding of his role within the team and his dedication to personal preparation, emphasizing that the star batsman requires minimal guidance from the coaches. Kohli’s remarkable achievement of scoring his 50th ODI century, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most centuries in the format, further cemented his position as one of cricket’s most prolific run-scorers.
During India’s colossal 397 for 4, the highest-ever total recorded in a World Cup semifinal, Kohli’s stellar knock of 117 played a pivotal role in propelling the team to victory. Mohammed Shami, India’s pace spearhead, continued his impressive form, claiming a seven-wicket haul to dismantle New Zealand’s chase, restricting them to 327, securing India’s place in the World Cup final for the first time in 12 years.
“He (Kohli) understands his cricket and we just help him prepare,” Vikram Rathour stated, acknowledging Kohli’s self-awareness and ability to independently manage his performance. “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.”
The jubilant atmosphere within the Indian dressing room reflected the team’s collective elation at Kohli’s historic milestone and their progression to the World Cup final. “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,” Vikram Rathour remarked.
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Attributing the team’s success under Rohit Sharma’s leadership to their ability to execute their plans effectively, Rathour commended the players’ unwavering commitment and preparation. “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 stated.
Vikram Rathour highlighted the Indian team management’s role in maintaining the morale of experienced players like Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin, despite their limited playing opportunities. “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 remarked, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive team environment.
In conclusion, Rathour revealed that since Hardik Pandya’s injury ruled him out of the World Cup, he has been actively working with the Indian tailenders, including Kuldeep Yadav, to enhance their batting skills. “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 stated.
India’s remarkable journey to the World Cup final is a testament to their unwavering dedication, strategic execution, and the individual brilliance of players like Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami. As they prepare for the ultimate test on cricket’s grandest stage, their quest for glory continues, fueled by the collective belief and determination of a team that has risen to the occasion time and again.