Steve Jobs once said, rather controversially, "You cannot join the dots looking ahead; you can only connect them looking backward." Virat Kohli, who suddenly overcame a three-year downturn in form to become India's top hitter in the lotusbook247 T20 World Cup, will understand.
To revitalize his T20 career in these times of fast change, Kohli has drawn inspiration from the past. As fate would have it, the circumstances in Australia have caused his squad to follow suit, highlighting the significance of the batter in his post-captaincy cricket career.
The audiences have been following Kohli around Australia since before his century against Pakistan, which was unquestionably the best of the World Cup so far.
Even Australia great and former India coach Greg Chappell, who was not always a fan of the T20 format, was so impressed by Kohli's effort that he described it as "a song by God."
"Ironically, it was also the innings that established T20 cricket as, dare I say it, an art form," Chappell said.
Kohli's artful-dodger style to power-hitting is groundbreaking, considering the term "art" is often not associated with powerful T20 blows. His success in this tournament, the genesis of which was the long break he took before the Asia Cup and the much-anticipated century against Afghanistan in a dead rubber, was the result of Kohli going "back to the basics," as cricketers say, rather than attempting to re-engineer his lotusbook247 T20 approach from scratch.
To comprehend how Kohli figured this out even before arriving in Australia, one must comprehend the impetus behind captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid's insistence on a more aggressive approach up the order: India's loss in the T20 World Cup last year.
India's strategy of batting at the top of the order in the shortest format required modification.
Priority should be placed on whether or whether we are improving as a team, as stated by Rohit. "We believed that a shift in perspective is necessary. However, it is important to understand that while doing new things, there will be failures. It does not imply that you must retreat."
Here, there is no disagreement whatsoever, but rather synergy.
After the September century against Afghanistan, the two senior players in the squad sat down for a rare interview with bcci.tv, during which Kohli said, "I received a lot of clarity from you guys and the team management to just let me to bat. That was of vital importance. The room provided made me feel completely at ease. The World Cup is significant, and if I do well, I can contribute significantly to the squad. I had asked Rahul bhai (Dravid) how I might increase my strike rate during the middle overs."
Since his innings against Afghanistan, in which he hit 72 runs off 29 balls, Kohli's innings have been characterized by traditional end-over acceleration.
"I counted on strong cricket shots," he said. "Six-hitting is not one of my greatest strengths. I can (strike them) if the occasion calls for it, but I'm better at spotting gaps and setting limits."
This realization seems to have liberated not just Kohli, but also India in the early summer Australian conditions of the World Cup, in which hitters have struggled in the Powerplay: aim to attack, but if necessary, establish your own method. Don't act irresponsibly under harsh situations.
In Sydney against the Netherlands, when Rohit Sharma attempted to knock his way out of difficulties and subsequently said that he wasn't satisfied with his fifty, Kohli calmly bided his time: his first 25 came off 24 balls, and his second 37 came off 20.
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