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Kohli credits team management for the space he got, which helped him relax

Dubai: In response to, Rohit Sharma praising Virat Kohli's "work ethic" and mentality of "never letting things go no matter what", Kohli attributed his recent success to the "space" Rohit and Rahul Dravid provided him following his comeback from a six-week break, in a video shared by BCCI on Friday, following India's win over Afghanistan.

Virat appreciated the mental space and clarity given to him by captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid and the team management after returning from his month-long break. He also acknowledged the break helped him put a lot of things into perspective. "Personally, since I've come back from a break where I didn't touch the bat for the longest time in the 13-14 years I've played, a lot of things were put into perspective. I got a lot of clarity from you guys [pointing to Rohit] and the team management, to just allow me to bat. That was very important," Kohli told Rohit in a chat on BCCI's official Twitter handle.
The former captain valued the space he was put in which made him feel relaxed.

"The space I got made me feel very relaxed. When I returned, I was excited to see how I could contribute to the team. Playing this way was important for me because the World Cup is big and if I play well, I can contribute big to the team," Virat added.
India's star batsman revealed that he least expected to score a century in the T20 format and his knock left him pleasantly surprised and grateful.

Talking about his preparation with Rahul Dravid before Asia Cup, he said, "I'd spoken to Rahul [Dravid] Bhai three-four days back, were batting first, especially the middle overs phase, how I can improve my strike rate. My only goal was to work on whatever I need to improve, I will try it at the Asia Cup. I honestly didn't expect it [to score a T20I century].

I was shocked, [and] as you also mentioned after that, no one expected a century from me in this format after a long time. I was pleasantly surprised, grateful and honest."
Kohli ended the Asia Cup with 276 runs in five innings and a strike rate of 147.59. He was the tournament's leading run-scorer after India's game against Afghanistan, 64 runs ahead of second-placed Mohammad Rizwan.

His end-overs acceleration once set was the main feature of the hundred. He was on 59 off 40 going into the final five overs when he switched gears and plundered his next 63 runs off just 21 balls. Even as he approached a landmark that had evaded him for 1020 days, he remained calm. Playing on 94, he played a dismissive pull to complete his century, ending his jinx of not scoring a century.
Kohli revealed how his focus is on executing good cricket strokes rather than obsessing about strike rates and six-hitting, which he said bothered him before his rest.

He stated that at the time, he was desperate to do something that wasn't in his game.
"My aim was to always to play all three formats, and I banked on good cricketing shots," he said. "I always came to every tournament or series thinking six-hitting is not a big strength of mine. I can [hit sixes] when the situation demands, but I'm better at finding gaps and hitting boundaries, so as long as I can hit boundaries, it will still serve the purpose for the team."

"I told the coaches also that I'm going to try and hit gaps rather than thinking I've to hit sixes to improve strike rates in T20 cricket. That thing I removed from my system in this tournament, and that helped because I was able to come back to my template. But it's about being in a good space and enjoying your batting," said the centurion from last night's game.

Talking about his role and approach to the game, he said, "We can play in many ways, but my role is to play as per the situation and if it demands I have to take the scoring rate higher, I should be able to do it. My aim was if I can be in this zone, I can be relaxed because I know if I'm set for 10-15 balls, I can accelerate. I'm very happy that especially from the team's point of view, I'm back to being in my template I've played for a while, which I was going away from because I was desperate to do something that wasn't my game."

The interviewer, Rohit, acknowledged that the knock against Afghanistan was a huge lesson in pacing an inning.
"Obviously, in T20 cricket, we speak about huge hitting and all that, but the century was the perfect illustration of how to create an innings without focusing so much on the big-hitting," he explained. (ANI)

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