Former India fielding coach has penned a book “Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team” wherein he has revealed incidents that took place off the field involving the Indian players or the support staff. Sridhar has shared anecdotes involving players like R Ashwin, Shubman Gill, MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, and Virat Kohli. In one of those anecdotes, Sridhar recalled an incident from India’s tour of South Africa in 2018 involving Virat Kohli.
The former fielding coach has narrated an incident from the Test series on that tour and revealed how the then-India captain always put himself under challenging conditions to be prepared for anything and everything that comes his way. Sridhar recalled that while India were preparing for the Test series the visitors were provided with a county ground for practice and most were seen batting on the centre wicket and the pitches beside it remained unused due to its dangerous nature.
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"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,” wrote Sridhar in his book.
He then added that when Virat Kohli came for practice, he decided to bat on those unused wickets and also asked the throwdown specialists to bowl at full throttle.
“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.’”
Notably, Kohli’s antics paid off well for him as the former India captain went to score 286 runs from three outings, which included one century and the same number of half-century.