R Sridhar opened up at length about Virat Kohli in his autobiography ‘Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian cricket team’ and the kind of admiration that he has for the big man. Other than his partly revelations of the book, he has particularly highlighted sections where Virat Kohli’s mental strength has been shown.
Sridhar was the former fielding coach for India for a staggering 7 years and had left a significant contribution for the Men in Blue as they turned into an almost unpassable fielding side. He recounted a tale back during India’s tour of South Africa in 2018.
He narrated a tale where even a dangerous looking surface couldn’t really stop him from padding up. Taking on all possible challenges on the horizon, he asked the throwdown specialists to sent those cherries come flying at him.
He penned, “Before that England series, we were in South Africa in January 2018 preparing for a Test series. They had given us a county ground for practice. The pitches were horrible. There was one centre wicket on which we were practicing, but the side wickets at Western Province in Cape Town were far from ideal.”
Sridhar further wrote, “Virat saw that nobody was batting on the wicket because it could be a bit dangerous. He quickly padded up, called Sanjay, Raghu and myself and said he wanted to bat. We tried to dissuade him, but he was adamant he wanted to bat on the surface. ‘I want it to be dangerous, I want to bat on this dangerous wicket and I want Raghu to bowl at his fastest.’ That is what he did. He did that every time. He put himself under severe distress in difficult conditions and ensured he overcame it. So he was honing his skill, he was also sharpening himself mentally.”