Indian skipper Virat Kohli is aggressive on the field and that tends to get the best out of him. When you are a performer like Kohli, it is also said that such a play rubs off on other players as well. In a recent episode of the chat show What the Duck, KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin revealed how Kohli motivates his partners from the non-striker’s end.
Rahul narrated an instance from Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 when Kohli and Rahul were teammates. Chris Morris was in good form and was bowling at a blinding speed of 150 kmph. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had lost two big wickets of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, it was a must-win game for them. Morris bowled a half-volley and Rahul struck it for a boundary. What happened next was interesting. As Rahul described,
“He was so fired up from there. He was like, ‘Yeah! What a shot?’. He started sledging him (Morris). He’s like ‘take that’ and all that. I was like ‘Bro, relax. He is bowling very quick. He’s bowled a half volley, let me get through this over.”
Ashwin too recalled a recent instance during the South Africa tour. Proteas in-form bowler Kagiso Rabada happened to bowl to Ashwin every time he went in to bat. Here’s what Ashwin said,
“He was bowling a good spell. Every time he saw me, I don’t know what it was, it felt like he was charging a little bit more and I felt like he was bowling rockets. I haven’t faced anybody quicker than Rabada in my career so far.”
After getting hit on the gloves, Ashwin got the wake-up call and he realised how quick Rabada was bowling,
“So I went bang-bang-bang! I got three boundaries together. And now Virat is fired up because I have taken Rabada on and hit him for three 4s and he is like, “yeah, keep going Ash! Keep going!” and all that. Dean Elgar just walked to say something, I think he wanted to say something to me and Virat just went in between and said, ‘You get on, you’re not like even hitting a single ball, you’re getting all your runs off the edge and all that. Dean Elgar was like, he just shut his mouth and went back.”
After Rabada’s initial spell, he started bowling in the good length area. It was followed by a bumper and Kohli came in to play once again,
“He just came and bowled a bumper, it was still 145 man. As it was coming I just left the ball. He just came down and said, I thought you were gonna pull him. I went close to him and said, listen, I am not seeing the ball properly still it’s flying, so I can’t pull and all.”
Here’s the video of the revelations —
Ashwin also admitted that he had poor quality gloves before his encounter with Rabada. The players gifted him a pair of gloves after the match.