Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has hailed Indian Captain Virat Kohli's extreme discipline for scoring one of the best Test hundreds that has been seen in recent times. Virat showed a lot of gumption in the way he handled the opposition attack led by James Anderson and even if he didn't win the one-on-one battle against his nemesis in the past, he didn't lose it. Virat won a battle much bigger than that, one with himself.
He faced Anderson for 43 balls in what was the most engrossing Test match spectacle that one could see. Anderson threw everything at Virat. He made Virat struggle and commanded India's best to bring out his best to score every run. Virat kept his ego aside and showed immense amount of grit, tenacity and lot of fortitude to come out from the bout without losing it. A disciplined and ambitioned man is a very powerful man.
He then almost deservingly got what is now a knock that no one will forget in a very long time. Kohli scored 149 of India's 274 and ensured his side is, at least statistically, still in the game. These are runs that a batsman earns respect for and Virat will certainly evolve through a better person from this.
During the press conference at the end of day's play, Bangar said, “He showed terrific disciplineVirat. At no instance did he reach out for the ball, and probably a couple of our batsmen did, which caused their downfall. That is something we’ve been speaking about, practicing quite a lot."
“The way he batted with the tail was a lesson, giving them a bit of confidence, giving them the strike when required. And when the field came up, he went for his strokes. You saw how Virat had to play through various phases where run making wasn’t that easy. But he showed terrific discipline, and at times you need to forget what has happened with the previous ball and focus on the ball that is coming. At times you will look ugly but that is something you have to adapt to.”
Bangar also knows that other batsmen of this team have a lot to learn from Virat's admirable showing, he said, “England is used to playing in these conditions, we don’t really play in these conditions too often, (and still) the gap is a mere 18 runs. Definitely, the game is well-placed. He(Virat) showed terrific disciplineVirat. At no instance did he reach out for the ball, and probably a couple of our batsmen did, which caused their downfall. That is something we’ve been speaking about, practicing quite a lot."
Praising the lower order's ability to hang in there and support Virat, Bangar added, “A lot of cricket has to be played, but Virat’s innings has narrowed the gap massively. At one stage we were staring down the barrel, but because of his brilliance and commitment shown by batsmen around him - contributions might not look too many from Hardik, Ashwin, Ishant, Umesh, but they stitched together partnerships and supported Virat beautifully.”
India's batting since the Test series in South Africa gives an impression that it is all about one man. Talking about what makes Virat tick for the challenge of batting in tough conditions and situations, Bangar said, “He’s a versatile player. At times, quality players keep assessing their games and where they want to progress. The awareness required under certain conditions may differ from South Africa to Australia to England, but he does that really well. Again, terrific discipline, and when he bats in that fashion, he more often than not gets the team into good positions."
“Today he converted. His first hundred in England, and he had to wait a long time to get to this, but he made sure to continue even after that. Passing an individual landmark doesn’t mean much to him, more than that if it’s a good day for him, he makes sure it’s a great day for him and the team.”
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)