Indian captain Virat Kohli on numerous occasions has won games for his team from unwinnable positions. His ability to chase down any total set by the opposition has earned him the nickname- ‘The chase master'. Undoubtedly the best chaser the world cricket had ever seen, Virat Kohli decoded his chasing approach during his live chat with legendary Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal.
The art of chasing
If chasing is an art, then Virat is the artist. The ease with which he chase down huge targets, have often put his contemporary batsman to shame. So it was quite obvious that the former Bangladesh captain asked him about his chasing ability.
Tamim asked him to explain how does he break down the score while chasing and he wished to know about his mental process while doing the same.
Virat funnily replied that the keepers like Mushfiqur Rahim help him from behind the stumps by sledging which motivates him further to push his limits. He further added that it was always his dream from childhood to win matches for India while chasing. He recalled that team India were not good at chasing during his childhood days, and while watching those games live on TV he would think to himself that he could've won those games for his nation if he was out there in the middle.
According to Virat, he feels pure joy while winning games for his team while chasing. He feels that chasing is the clearest of all situations. There you know how much runs you need to get and how you have to prepare to achieve that. He further added that he doesn't feel pressure while chasing and rather feels it as an opportunity.
To prove his point, he recalled one of his innings in Hobart against Australia where he defied all odds to take his team home inside 40 overs so as to help them qualify for the final.
It was a do-or-die situation for India. They had to win the match with the Bonus-point to make sure they were not out of the tournament. Also, they were coming after a 4-0 whitewash in the test series against Australia. It was then that the modern day chase master announced his arrival.
Put out to bat by MS Dhoni, Sri Lanka posted a mammoth total of 320-4 from their 50 overs, thanks to an unbeaten 160 by Tillakaratne Dilshan and 105 from Kumar Sangakkara.
When Virat Kohli walked out in the chase, India was already two down with Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar back in the pavilion. It was the once-favourite partnership of Gambhir-Kohli that gave a glimpse of India’s chance in the match. Virat Kohli’s partnership with Gautham Gambhir came to an end after the duo put together an invaluable 115 runs. The next up to bat was Suresh Raina.
Virat recalled that when Raina came into bat he asked him to consider that 40 overs as a two T20 match. He added that they had only lost 2 wickets inside the first 20 overs and were on track. He considered the next half as a separate T20 match with 12 runs per over required with 8 wickets in hand.
This undying passion of Virat helped India to chase down 321 runs in 36.4 overs to stay alive in the tournament. Virat Kohli, stayed unbeaten at 133 runs off just 86 balls. His innings included 16 fours and 2 sixes. Raina supported brilliantly with a pacy 40 off just 24 balls.