Bengaluru, Jan 16: The master of run chases Virat Kohli has revealed how he plans and achieves his goal of gunning down totals in limited overs matches.
On Sunday night (January 15), Kohli yet again proved his class in a run chase. With his record century India successfully chased down 351 against England in the 1st ODI in Pune.
It was Kohli's 15th ton in a successful run chase, a new record, erasing the previous mark held by batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who had 14.
In an interview to former England captain Nasser Hussain, on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) website, Kohli spoke about his way of chasing down totals.
"In general, we keep looking for goals in life. Generally as human beings we look to achieve something in work, be it any profession. That is just an opportunity for me to see the scoreboard and do something special. Do something which is in my control mentally," Kohli told Hussain when asked about his brilliance in second innigs batting.
"Batting first you go with the momemtum of the game, understanding how good the wicket is and try to set a target. When you are chasing totals down, you understand what exactly needs to be done at what stage of the game.
"Because I like to think so much about the game, keeps me involved all the time to nominate bowlers who you want to take on even when the run rate goes to 7 and half or 8. I always believe in myself that I can get 20-run overs in the end, couple of them and the run rate drops below 6," Kohli added in the interview before the 1st ODI in Pune.
The 28-year-old Kohli said he reads the body language of the opposition players, captain and then makes the most of the situation when they "panic".
Kohli explained, "I thrive on running hard between the wickets, keep the scoreboad ticking. That really helps in the middle overs. That keeps the opposition captain always guessing as to when I will explode or when I will start taking on the bowlers.
"Without taking on the bowlers if you start getting 6 runs an over it makes life really difficult for the opposing captain to control the game. And that is what I thrive on. I read body language when players start panicking with a couple of boundaries. That is when I hit the 'go button' and get those 5, 6 extra boundaries and the game is in the kitty.
"Having a target on the scoreboard and understanding how many balls to get it in, I usually target to finish it 2-3 overs before. That is the way I plan my innings. And you have to be really aware when to hit a boundary and control the run rate. You just can't go in one mode. I think it is a balance of being aggressive, taking your time initially but at the same time make sure you are playing very few dot balls throughout the innings."
Kohli admitted that it had now become a habit for him to easily chase down totals in the limited overs games.
"I don't know, it has just become a habit now where I thrive in those situations, especially when the target is above 300, I take up as a new challenge every time. If it is against a high-quality bowling attack, it motivates me even further to do something special. It is very natural to me," he said.