Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist recalled a time in 2013, during the Indian Premier League (IPL), when Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Virat Kohli let a chance go begging of David Miller which allowed Kings XI Punjab to post a win from a difficult position.
Gilchrist further added that Kohli had moved on from the game-changing moment by the time the after-party had started to highlight the mental strength of the now India captain.
In a column for The Australia, the Aussie wrote Kohli is a strong as Shane Warne, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Michael Jordan mentally.
“It’s an understatement to say the greats in any sport have tremendous mental strength. It’s their most potent weapon. Shane Warne, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, Michael Jordan. All are in possession of a sportsperson’s greatest ally, a strong mind. Better than any magical flipper. Far more powerful than a brilliant backhand or ability to hit buzzer-beating three-pointers.”
“The ability to analyze what has just happened, identify areas for change to gain improvement and then most significantly banish the incident to the past, has seen all these champions be, well, just that, champions.”
The 47-year-old further went on to highlight Kohli's ability to focus on the cricket pitch. He added the example of the time when Virat had lost his father but still went on to score 90 runs for Delhi the next morning.
“What a tough young mind to tread that particular journey back in 2006 and to conquer many a challenge since. It’s a mind that can focus in on the task at hand with laser-like precision, allowing complete clarity to attend to the challenge presented,” wrote Gilchrist.
A picture of Kohli having a chat with Gilchrist in the net session was posted by BCCI. Talking about the conversation, the former Aussie cricketer said, “.. he said he has really started to finetune his mindset and technical aspects of his batting for Test cricket. Its taken him a while, he said.
“There’s a new and exciting challenge every single day. No certain roadmap the match will follow. To master this format, like he has the pajama cricket, he wants to switch the mind into overdrive. To be even better prepared. Sharper, more focused. If a technique needs changing to adapt to a new scenario, he’s keen to identify it and get to work.”
“Given Kohli took his ODI run aggregate from 9000 to 10000 in just 11 innings and he was in autopilot mode, heaven help the opposition around the world in Test cricket now that he’s giving it his full attention,” he concluded.