Virat Kohli credits Cheteshwar Pujara for his long innings

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BCCI

Virat Kohli credits Cheteshwar Pujara for his long innings

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SportsCafe Desk

12/04/2017

Virat Kohli has credited Cheteshwar Pujara for inspiring him to play longer innings and scored hundreds comfortably. Kohli, once again, pointed out the importance of fitness in the current era of cricket and claimed he considers the 2012 IPL as the turning point in his career.

The Indian skipper, who has been in the brilliant form this year, scored his sixth double century in the third Test of the series against Sri Lanka. after scoring an unbeaten 104 in Kolkata and 213 in Nagpur. In the ongoing Test, he scored a career-best knock of 243 in a mere 287 deliveries. While talking to Pujara for BCCI TV, Kohli credited the Saurashtra batsman for his long and patient innings.

"It feels wonderful. It was always my mindset to score big hundreds, something that I have watched you do a lot in your career early on and learnt also, how to concentrate for longer periods. We have all learnt from his (Pujara) long innings, his concentration levels and his will to keep batting. So I also got inspired by that to keep batting for the team for as long as possible. Now I only think of how I can play more for the team and then you know, you don't feel the tiredness and anything else and keep carrying on looking at the situation," Kohli said as quoted by PTI.

Kohli has featured in 63 Tests for India in which he has scored 5218 runs at an average of 53.79. The Delhi batsman has played 10 Tests this year in which he added 1009 run at an incredible average of 77.61 thanks to his five centuries. 

"My favorite obviously is Test cricket, we are making sure from every angle that this should be the most important format because as a batsman or as bowlers also we know how pleasing it is to score in Test matches, especially when conditions are tough," Kohli said.

After finishing the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, India will visit South Africa to play an almost two months long tour which will be followed by other overseas tours in 2018. Kohli admitted that to maintain the level of motivation outside the country, the team have to deal with the conditions.

"You have to counter conditions in South Africa, England, Australia. Job satisfaction is the most in this format. ODI and T20I also from an emotional point of view. When there is a full stadium and you win a close game, that gives you a high."

The 29-year-old is known as one of the fittest players on the cricket circuit and he once again stated the importance that fitness plays in the current era of the game.

"We know as professional cricketers, we don't have many years. So, we have to make the most of it and I try to stay as fit as possible, take care of my diet, take care of my training and it's paid off well till now. In the later half of my career, as we all know, it's going to get more difficult. So I'm trying to put in as much as possible in training now and later on, I can still manage to keep the same kind of intensity. But I think we all are training so hard now and it's showing on the field and I am just trying to do the same."

It has been a long journey for the Indian skipper who had gone from a chubby talented kid to the fittest and best batsman in the world. But it wasn't a change that happened overnight as Kohli revealed that his bad performance in the 2012 IPL forced him to think over his fitness which resulted in a healthy lifestyle. He played 16 matches in the 2012 IPL where he scored only 364 runs at an average of 28.00 and after working on his fitness league results also changed drastically as in 2013 he scored 634 runs in the same number of matches.

"The change started in the 2012 IPL when I had a very bad season and I was expecting a lot from that season because I had scored a Test hundred in Australia and I scored 180 against Pakistan in Asia Cup. I could not come out of that, my mental state was very bad, I was eating very bad, my habits were not good at all. So I went home afterward and I saw myself in the mirror after coming out of the shower and I thought I can't look like this if I want to be an international cricketer.

"So, from the next day onwards, I changed everything about my diet, training, and everything. I was in the gym every day for an hour and a half to two hours and I just completely changed my diet."

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