Indian captain Virat Kohli is now counted as one of the greatest batsmen in international cricket history. Recently, he revealed that two former South African cricketers Gary Kirsten and Mark Boucher played crucial roles to set up his career.
Virat Kohli is a great example of consistency in batting as the right-handed batsman has maintained the consistency for a long time. In every international format, he has the batting averages of over 50. He is currently the no.1-ranked ODI batsman, no.2-ranked Test batsman and no.10-ranked T20I batsman. While Kohli is moving up in the list of top most run-scorers in Test and ODI format, he is the leading run-scorer in T20I cricket.
Recently, the present Indian captain credited some coaches to shape up his career. At first, he named the former Indian Head Coach Gary Kirsten. While Kohli was worried about his front foot in the early days, Kirsten gave him huge confidence.
Kohli recently told Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate AB de Villiers in the video chat, “I can remember a few people, who sort of growing into my career (who had a lot of impact)… Gary (Kirsten) was obviously the first coach that I interacted with when I entered the Indian team and he gave me just positive advice.
“I used to have a problem of my front foot falling too far across and I used to speak to him about this and he would say your head’s good, you’re not getting hit on the pads. So why are worrying about the front foot? The positive feedback helped me always. It was just the way to look at things.”
Mark Boucher helped Virat Kohli to prepare for the short balls
Then Kohli named the former South African wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher, his former RCB teammate (2008-2010). While Boucher had the great vision on Kohli’s cricket future, he prepared him for the short balls. According to Boucher, if Kohli couldn’t play the short balls, he just needed to forget international cricket.
Kohli added, “He (Boucher) was the one guy who told me in 2008 that when I come to India 4 years from now to do commentary and I don’t see you play for India I’d be the most disappointed man in the world.
“He used to take me to the nets with a tennis ball racket and bowl bouncers and short balls. He told me, ‘if you wanna play international cricket, you’ll have to play the short ball, otherwise forget about it. So he had the vision, that was quite special.”
Kohli also credited another former Indian Head Coach Duncan Fletcher.