'I've got my confidence back' - Kohli
After 15 Test and ODI innings without a half-century, Virat Kohli showed signs of a return to form when he scored 62 in the second ODI against West Indies in Delhi. Kohli said he worked hard on his game during the break between the England tour and the start of the series against West Indies, and felt his confidence was returning.
"I think as a cricketer, you find out things about yourself [while out of form] which you're not aware of when you're scoring runs," Kohli said ahead of the fourth ODI in Dharamsala. "It's only when you don't score runs and get out in a particular manner that you address these issues and I've gone back and worked on them.
"I've worked hard over the past two weeks, during which I've attended two different camps and concentrated on the areas I have to improve on. At the international stage, it requires just one innings to get your confidence back and I believe if you're well mentally, everything falls in place.
"I felt good in the last game. I stuck to the basics and decided to go after the bowler rather than letting the bowler come to me. Once I got my confidence back, it was easy going from that point onwards."
Most of Kohli's recent dismissals have been the result of playing away from his body and edging the ball outside off stump. Kohli said recovering mental confidence was a more important step in regaining form than the work he did on his technique.
"It's very easy to let it [getting out the same way] affect you but I choose not to," Kohli said. "At times, it does play on your mind and this is where as batsman you go back to the basics and improve. At the end of the day, it's all about the mental confidence and letting your instincts take over," Kohli said. "Having that break was really good. I got to work on my game and went in this ODI series with a positive mindset."
Kohli said the criticism he faced during his rough patch made him understand people better.
"It's funny in a way," he said. "The moment I don't score runs, people are very quick to criticise. They tend to forget my contributions in the last 4-5 years. I've been scoring consistently in all three formats of the game. At the same time - I'm not bragging about it - that's my nature; the way I like to play the game.
"You will have a bad patch and it is then you get to know the people who actually support you and those who are ready to rip you apart. I've seen a lot of people change, 360 degrees actually but that doesn't surprise me anymore. All I know is that I've got to feel good in my head and that's what gives me confidence."
Kohli praised the role played by Ravi Shastri as team director in raising the team's morale after their 3-1 defeat in the Test series in England.
"He [Shastri] is doing something that a lot of people choose not to do - bring confidence to the team, no matter what situation we are in," Kohli said. "I think it's very easy to demean and point fingers at a team and when you have someone like him who has has been around for so long, it helps a youngster go up to him and talk about his game."