Tamim sheds ego to learn from Kohli

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:09, May 19,2020


A file photo shows Indian captain Virat Kohli giving some tips to Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal during a match. — AFP photo

India captain Virat Kohli appeared as guest on Tamim Iqbal’s widely watched Facebook live session on Monday, but unlike previous shows the half-an-hour conversation of Bangladesh batsman with Kohli turned out to be an online batting tutorial than a casual chat.

In previous chat sessions, Tamim mostly revisited memories with his pals and sometimes even pulled out dressing room secrets but on Monday night, he appeared like an obedient pupil who was all ears.

Although Kohli entered into the realm of international cricket more than a year after Tamim, he has already established himself as arguably one of the best batsman in the world at the moment.

Kohli currently sits at the top of the ICC one-day international rankings for batsmen, while ranking second in Tests, whereas Tamim is out of the top-20 in both the formats.

Recognising this difference, Tamim shed his ego and consulted the Indian maestro on different aspects of batting despite being the senior pro.

Tamim asked Kohli about making changes in batting stance, something the coaches have often suggested the Bangladeshi opener, and the consequences of it as Kohli himself made some tweaks in his batting stance after the initial take off period of his career.

‘I changed because I personally thought that I wanted to play all around the ground and for that I felt that having a static stance limited my options,’ Kohli said.

‘So I had to change some things to play my game and had to try something different at times. I wasn’t able to understand until I tried it,’ he added.

Kohli also told Tamim that trying new techniques in the practice sessions wasn’t enough to increase confidence and he had to execute those things in a real match scenario.

‘If you think that you want to try something in your game style then, of course, try that in your practice but more importantly try that in one or two matches. If you execute what you practiced then it will raise your confidence level.

‘I believe that practice gives you an assurance that you’re ready but your confidence gets higher only after performing in a match,’ he said.

Bangladeshi batsmen are often guilty of sticking to their style of playing even when they are failing to score, as they had previously found success with the same approach.

But Kohli doesn’t follow that school of thought, as he felt that constantly changing and evolving as a player was the only way to perform consistently in the international arena.

‘I have seen some players who are a bit adamant about changing batting style, thinking that they are successful playing like this. But my point is, don’t stick to one single style, always keep your mind open, understand and learn new things.

‘In a while the opposition will figure you out, so you have to be few steps ahead of the game. Through that way, you can perform consistently.’

Kohli is known for following a strict diet and putting extra emphasis on his fitness, a habit which has rubbed off onto his fellow India team-mates since he took over the reign as the skipper.

Kohli reiterated the importance of being fit to deliver to the best of one’s ability on the field.

‘Training and diet should be consistent because if your body is in the best shape with no stiffness and mentally you are sound then you can go out and be at your best every time.’

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