Chennai: A gentle wave of the bat was how Virat Kohli celebrated his hundred on Sunday. There was no leap in the air or any screaming. Much like his batting, there seems to be a change in his approach too.
Kohli still rates his Adelaide hundred as the best. But this innings of 107 will remain special, he said at a press conference.
The following are excerpts
On Dhoni's and his performance…
First I will speak about my captain's. Well, he bats like that… It was brilliant batting. Especially coming at the fall of Sachin Tendulkar, we needed a good partnership and we needed to capitalise on the partnership between Sachin and me. We carried on from there... The way he did it was usual to him… When in flow he can hit the ball a mile and we all saw that. He can take the match away from you. So, it is a great example of his ability and his strike rate was 87 per cent, which is quite brilliant. Only a few players in the world can do that. That was very special to watch.
About my performance, I am really happy with the way I batted because it was really important for me to get some big runs. I had a very good consistent run and then few low scores in the one-day series. I was not feeling bad about it. But, people watching felt… Suddenly I had a bad patch but I took some time off and took some rest and went away from the game. That really helped me to be fresh. I became hungry for runs before this series. Those feelings are important to a cricketer. I am pleased with the way I batted in this Test so far.
If this was his best and how he rated Dhoni's innings
The Adelaide hundred is still special to me. I think that was a tougher situation we were in. I needed to get out of that shell and create an impression that I can play Test cricket… It was really important for me at that point of time. I was really pleased with the way I played that whole series. This is also obviously special because I have got only four Test hundreds. All four are very special to me. Talking of Dhoni, I have seen him bat in the one-day matches… But when you analyse the situation of playing with the tailenders, it is totally a great display of batting temperament wise… Especially in Test matches it is not easy to play with the lower order.
Whether there were any specific instructions from Dhoni to accelerate the run rate?
We all knew that they are going to come out and take a few wickets in the first session. We were batting very well despite the reverse swing... Pattinson was their strike bowler and he was bowling really well. It is all about respecting good bowling. There was no plan.
On what Dhoni said at the tea break...
He did not want to talk about the game. He just wanted to talked about something else... He was pretty calm and relaxed.
If he was unhappy with his dismissal
Definitely. I was very disappointed on getting out at that point in time. Usually when you get a hundred you want to make it big but the sort of block I am facing, I do not know when I will get a big one... I really want to get over that. Today, I decided to go for the shot that is why I did not hold myself back. I got too close to the bat and I did not get the elevation. One can only learn from mistakes…
Should Dhoni be coming in at No.6
I cannot say anything unless he stays in that slot for a long time. He has been batting at No.7 for a while and did not get ample opportunities to get big runs. Coming at No.6 there are more opportunities to get settled and he is one of the more experienced guys to play with the lower order. He knows how to play with the lower order. Dhoni can make a huge difference at No.6 in Test matches. It might just click for us in the batting order.