Former India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik believes the one big thing which sets Virat Kohli apart from the rest is his desire to be ‘the best in the business’.
‘He sets the bar, he sets the standard, he wants to be the best in the business, and he goes about every day trying to achieve that. All you need to do is watch, observe and learn,’ DK told The Telegraph, London.
Karthik pointed out to Kohli’s superb showing with the bat during India’s last Test series in England in 2018 to highlight his capacity to adapt and evolve his game.
After struggling with the bat during the 2014 tour of England, when he averaged only 13, Kohli bounced back with 593 runs in the five Tests in 2018 at an average of 59, with two centuries.
‘He’d got runs and conquered all over the world,’ Karthik says. ‘The one series that he didn’t do well was the one in England in the Test matches. He came back to the same questions and he had answers for every one of them and that’s always a sign of a great player.’
Karthik, who will be doing commentary during the India-England Test series, has played under both Kohli and England ODI skipper Eoin Morgan, who leads the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
‘They are very different personalities,’ DK told The Telegraph. ‘Virat is fierce, loyal, and he is somebody who will set the standards, raise the bar. Morgs on the other hand is completely laidback, very chilled, he’ll tell you what he wants out of you and he’ll do everything he can to get the best out of you and back you to the hilt.’
Karthik, who has featured in 26 Test matches and 94 ODIs for India, warned the Indian batsmen against following Kohli’s template of batting outside the crease against the likes of England pacers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
‘It’s a massive challenge to stand outside to somebody who’s bowling 85 or 90 miles an hour, you’re literally making it four or five miles quicker by standing outside the crease. So you’ve got to be ready to face 90 miles an hour against outswingers and inswingers — you better have skills to do that,’ DK said in The Telegraph.
Karthik, 36, is hopeful of making it to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup later this year. ‘I would love to be part of either one of them, it’s been an absolute burning desire for a long time,’ he confessed to The Telegraph.’I have a couple of IPLs to showcase what I’m capable of in the middle order.’
DK told the newspaper that he has brought his cricket kit to England, to practice ‘once or twice a week’ during his commentary stint for Sky Sports.
Karthik, who has been part of every IPL since 2008 and has featured in over 200 games in the T20 league, gave his thumbs to The Hundred, which will be kick off next week in England.
‘The IPL was a completely different kettle of fish — people from different countries playing together was a new concept. For this, the format is slightly different, we talk about balls and just 100, and you can bowl five at a time. There is a lot of different nuances to it.’
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