India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday credited MS Dhoni for calming him down during his century knock in the 2nd ODI against Australia in Adelaide. The 30-year-old scored his 39th ton in the match, while Dhoni scored a brisk unbeaten fifty as India beat Australia by 6 wickets. Appearing for the first time on fellow teammate Yuzvendra Chahal’s talk show ‘Chahal TV’, Kohli was asked how he kept his cool in the chase when the run rate was climbing up and wickets were going down.
In his reply, the right-handed batsman said: “I think it is better to slow down the game at that point. It is important to rotate strikes. When a player like Mahi bhai arrives, he communicates a lot. It helps a lot to discuss whether I should take a risk or not. He keeps calming down the player on the other end, and keeps saying that there is a lot of time to go in the match. Hence, we bat together so well because we keep moving the scoreboard along, without too many risks.”
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Kohli added that he also took calculated risks in the chase, which is what every Indian player should do while chasing a heavy total. “There was a phase of 4-5 overs when I attacked. So, there are times you need to take calculated risks. Hence, you are selected in the Indian team, because you need to do that. You need to work on it mentally. I keep thinking a lot about when the team is in trouble and I need to win the games. So it helps a lot when you are mentally convinced, it reflects on the field.”
Speaking further on Dhoni, who finished the match with a six in the final over, Kohli said: “We got a peek into classic ‘MS Dhoni game’ today. It is difficult to come and score runs immediately after you have been away from international cricket for a while. It has just been a few days since he has been in Australia. Your body is tired, jet-lagged, it takes a while to open up your mind. The more he plays, the more he will get into flow. And when he gets into flow, then our team becomes really relaxed, because we know we can bank on it.”
“He played a special innings in Adelaide and he must be feeling special as well to play a finishing knock in Adelaide. And we, as a team, are always happy to see him perform this way,” he added.
Chahal, who is known for his quirky questions on his talk show, further asked Kohli about how he feels about making his debut on the show. The skipper laughed and said: “I never thought I would get such a golden opportunity to appear on ‘Chahal TV’. This is a bigger achievement for me to appear than my 39th ton and the man of the match prize. I think this is the biggest honour of my career.”
Before singing off, the captain added: “If you want to appear on Chahal TV, then you have to perform like this, otherwise there is no chance. Those who do not score a ton or take 5 wickets, can never be on Chahal TV. Rohit was here last time, now I am here. So you know the standards of Chahal TV. You have to perform or Yuzvendra Chahal has no time for you.”