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IPL 9: It's about getting into bowlers' heads, says Virat Kohli

Even as the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rising Pune Supergiants was being fought in real earnest, there was an intriguing cat and mouse battle being played between India’s Test and limited-overs skipper.

Bangalore: Even as the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rising Pune Supergiants was being fought in real earnest, there was an intriguing cat and mouse battle being played between India’s Test and limited-overs skipper.

Virat Kohli en route his unbeaten 108 against Pune. pic/PTI
Virat Kohli en route his unbeaten 108 against Pune. Pic/PTI

Every time Virat Kohli took on strike, MS Dhoni made subtle changes to his field. After all who knows one better than the other.

Fully aware of Kohli’s new-found ability to pierce the off-side field, Dhoni made it a point to precisely place the fielders at the cover and long off fences.

Kohli kept outsmarting MSD, though, simply with his ability to play two shots to any ball and on either side of the wicket. So, if one ball he drove between cover and long off for four, next ball he hit the same sort of delivery, to wide midwicket. Oh, what a treat it was for the spectators.

How does he do that he was asked and how did he manage to outdo Dhoni each time. “I just used my bat,” Kohli joked initially, only to add: “It’s about understanding what lines the bowlers are trying to bowl at you. We need to get into the bowler’s heads.”

What he said next revealed what makes him such a dangerous batsman.

“It doesn’t matter how much gap they have in between them, even if it’s 20 metres, you need to hit it well enough to beat the two fielders.

“I think it’s all about being convinced that you can hit in that area and get the result you want to.”

He and the side did get the result he wanted.

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