Mumbai, Dec 12: After a forgettable Test series in England in 2014, Virat Kohli headed for Mumbai to seek Sachin Tendulkar's guidance. He was there for 10 days and the batting legend's "best advice" has worked since then, the captain said today (December 12).
At Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, on Monday, India thrashed England by an innings and 36 runs to clinch the 5-match rubber 3-0 with a game to play. Kohli, having scored a career-best 235, won the Man-of-the-match award. (Kohli reveals what Ashwin told to Anderson)
In the post-match press conference, the 28-year-old Kohli was asked about his transformation as a Test batsman since the tour of England in 2014. He was asked about the advice he received from Tendulkar back then and how it helped.
"The best advice (from Sachin Tendulkar) was not to read and look up things that are being said or written about me, very honestly. I am not joking or trying to be sarcastic. That was the best advice I have got since then (2014). That was one thing that kept pulling me back as far as Test cricket was concerned," Kohli, who scored just 134 runs in 10 Test innings in England in 2014, said.
He continued, "I don't know somehow people enjoyed calling me 'not a good Test player'. That motivated me further to do extra well in this format of the game. Being captain only took my mind more of those things. Because I did not have time to read up or hear what people had to say about me. It was all about thinking what the team has to do and that has helped me immensely to stay focused on what I have to do on the field."
Kohli gave credit to his team-mates and support staff for success at Test level, stating "you can't alone do it".
Kohli said, "You can't alone do it out there in the middle. There have been guys who have been part of wonderful partnerships in the last 2 and two-and-half years. That helps immensely. Once you get momentum in partnership it helps you as a batsman.
"It all depends on your team-mates as well, how they help you go through in tough moments when you are not in form. It has been a collective effort. I won't say I have done all things by myself. Yes I worked hard on my game but it has been the team that has helped me play in the way I can because everyone plays with the same mindset. It has been wonderful since then."
After the 2nd Test against England in Visakhapatnam last month, Kohli had told "The Dail Telegraph" about his journey to Mumbai to meet Tendulkar, in 2014.
"I came back (from England in 2014) and went to Bombay for 10 days. I spoke to him (Tendulkar). He spent time with me. He said he watched me in England and helped me with a few technical things that are important at this level, in terms of getting a good stride in, always having intent when playing the ball and never being unsure of what to do at the crease," Kohli recalled.
India and England will play the 5th and final Test of the series in Chennai from December 16.