“I believed I am the man,” that’s how West Indies legendary batsman Viv Richards replied to Virat Kohli’s question when he asked what went through his head walking out to bat facing the menacing bouncers of the bowlers. Kohli introduced Richards saying that ‘he is the greatest inspiration to all of us batsmen”. The Indian skipper had a fan moment as he asked Richards questions from the golden era of West Indies.
“Whenever I have seen videos of you walking out, you’re in a hat, no helmets back then. Even when there were after a point you chose not to because it was something that made you feel like you have the belief and you are chewing gum. I know the pitches were not as prepared or as covered back then. What was it like? What went through your head walking out knowing that you don’t have a lot of protection. There is no restriction on bouncers and then you go out and dominate like that. What did you feel from the time you left the changing room till you got to the pitch. What was the mindset?” Kohli asked.
King Kohli turns anchor and quizzes the Caribbean Master to understand his fearless mindset – by @28anand
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 22, 2019
“I believed I am the man. It may sound arrogant but I always felt that I was involved in a game that I knew. I would back myself every time. You have to back yourself to get hurt, to take the knocks. But the helmet I tried, I am not going to lie and tell you. But, it felt a little uncomfortable. So I felt my cap, my maroon cap which was given to me. I felt so proud with that. My mindset was that if I am good enough to be here, if I get hurt it’s god’s will. I will survive” the 67-year-old replied.
Kohli also shared his experience of facing fast bowlers and how he likes to get early on in the innings to motivate himself.
“I feel like it’s better to get hit early on and get to know the feeling than always feeling like you might get hit. So, I prefer actually getting hit early on and really hard so it motivates me even further not allow that to happen again, just that pain to go through your body and be like – okay enough, it’s not happening again,” he said.
Richards, who faced the likes of Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Bob Willis and others, termed batsmen getting hit as part and parcel of the sport.
“Because to be fair while batting you are going to get hurt. It depends on how you come back from this knocks. In the old days, before these little guards (chest guards) around your ribs, you take it there and that’s when you feel it. You take a count but then that’s part and parcel of the sport,” he concluded.
The 30-year-old will don the whites after a long period of time as India take on West Indies in the first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua. He is in sublime form having scored two back-to-back centuries in the ODI series. Kohli-led India will look to get some points on the Test Championship table with a win in the first Test.
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