After enduring an extended lean patch, Virat Kohli is back to scoring runs consistently. He slammed his 29th Test century during the red-ball series against West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval last month.
The star Indian batter now has 76 hundreds to his name across formats, only behind the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 100 international tons.
With the ODI World Cup slated to be held in India in about 1.5 months, Australia legend Greg Chappell expects Kohli to do wonders if the latter approaches the showpiece tournament at home with a free mind.
"Let me take you back a little bit. When I was coach of India, Sachin called me one morning and wanted to come and see me.
“When he came into my room the first question he asked was "Why does batting get more difficult over time?" I remember telling him that over time you learn a lot and process all the information in your subconscious mind. As a talented youngster cutting your teeth in international cricket, all you do is see and hit the ball. You are not concerned about reputation, about pressure or about expectations. However, with time things change. With experience, you know what to expect, what the opposition bowlers are expected to bowl to you and how much the country wants you to succeed," Chappell said while speaking on RevSportz.
The Australian further opined that it was a free mind Kohli that the world got to see against Pakistan in a high-pressure game in the T20 World Cup last year.
"All this information is there in your mind and can cause problems. The opponents too know much more about you over time and are better prepared. If you want to bat freely, you need to de-clutter your mind of all this information. You need to be mentally prepared and do so with a free mind. That's the key. If you are able to free yourself up mentally, you can bat the way you did early on in your career and control the game. That's what Virat was able to do in the last World T20 in Australia against Pakistan. If you go and see that innings again the one thing that will stand out is the kind of shots he played. He did not back away and try to slog, he did not charge the bowler and most of his shots were conventional cricket shots played according to the merit of the ball. In my book it was the perfect batting masterclass by the master himself," Chappell stated.
"I am sure Virat will want to be in a similar mental space in this world cup. If he can approach the tournament in a free mind and prepare well, which he always does, he will score a lot of runs for India and will be a key influence in the competition," he added.
India will open their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign against five-time champions Australia on October 8 in Chennai.
(With ANI Inputs)