How Gary Kirsten's advice shaped Virat Kohli's batting

Former India coach Gary Kirsten, who guided the MS Dhoni-led side to the 2011 World Cup title, played a huge role in shaping Virat Kohli's game.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli with coach Gary Kirsten during a practice session at the IIT ground in Chennai ahead of the 2011 World Cup match against West Indies. (FILE PHOTO)   -  R Senthil Kumar

Former India coach Gary Kirsten revealed the coaching advice he gave to Virat Kohli when the current India skipper entered the international arena as a youngster.

“When I met Virat first up, he had great abilities and talent and he was a young guy. But I kind of knew straight away that he wasn’t operating in the best version of himself. So we had a number of discussions," Kirsten said while speaking on The RK Show.

The South African, who guided the MS Dhoni-led side to the 2011 World Cup title narrated an incident that changed Kohli's approach towards batting.

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“I’ll never forget one, when we were playing an ODI series against Sri Lanka, and he was batting beautifully and he was on 30-odd not out. He then decided that he would try and hit the (bowler) over long on’s head for six. And he got holed out.

“I just said to him, “If you’re going to take your cricket to the next level, you need to hit that ball down the ground for one. You know you can hit a lot of balls up the ground, but there’s a lot of risk attached to that.” I think he took that on board, he got a hundred in the next one-day in Kolkata," he said.

“Our relationship was formulated around him as a young player coming in, and me trying to say to him that he has a long way to go and to build in some consistent behaviours into the way he played this game," Kirsten added.

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