Contribution of support staff massive, says Kohli

Contribution of support staff massive, says Kohli

 Thursday was a memorable day for Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Not only did India hammer Bangladesh by nine wickets to storm into the final of the Champions Trophy, he also became the fastest man to go past 8000 runs (175 innings) in ODI cricket.

Kohli arrived for the Champions Trophy — his first major tournament as the skipper of the Indian team — with concerns about his form. India’s premier batsmen managed just 46 runs in the three Test matches he played against Australia in February-March before a shoulder injury kept him away for a few weeks. He endured a miserable IPL by his own lofty standards, managing just 308 runs while his team Royal Challengers Bangalore hit a new low. The 28-year-old, however, has roared back to form, cracking three half-centuries to lead the team from the front.

Kohli credited batting coach Sanjay Bangar and throw-down specialist Raghavindraa for shaping his as well as the team’s fortunes. “Those who aren’t mentioned, their contribution always gets overshadowed by what players do on the field. The amount of work all the coaches have put in is huge,” said Kohli.

“Sanjay Bangar, of course, specialises in batting. And we have Raghu for our throw-downs. I don’t know if everyone knows him or not. But the way he makes us practice, at speeds of 145-150 kmph in the nets, it becomes easier for us to face bowlers in the match. Those who are bowling at 140 seem comparatively easier. I think from that point of view, the preparations we have got are exactly like a match scenario and a lot of credit goes to them. On a personal level I can say that it’s because of these two that the last two years I have made improvements in my batting. Their input is priceless, they have taken my batting to another level. They deserve a lot of credit from the batting group.”

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