‘Walk out, chest out, ready to punch the guys’ – AB de Villiers’ tip to Virat Kohli for enjoying the game again

Body language, and putting on an act were among the “four points” AB de Villiers discussed with Virat Kohli when the Indian captain made a “special call” after the second T20I against England in Ahmedabad, where he helped India chase down a target with an unbeaten 73. Kohli made the call because of a “lack of clarity” in his mind, having struggled for fluency during the preceding four-Test series, when he scored just two half-centuries.

“I mentioned four points,” de Villiers revealed during an interview with the Royal Challengers Bangalore website. “We spoke a couple of things away from the game and then also a couple of technical things, but it was very basic. I have been wanting to tell him for quite a while because I was watching him for a few months and it looked like he was quite intense at the crease, with his whole game. So I really wasn’t surprised when I saw the message [from Kohli] and I knew immediately all he needs to do is the basic stuff.”

And what were those basics? “See the ball. Still head. Allow the ball to come into your space. Body language and attitude,” de Villiers said. “And I sort of elaborated around those four points. But basics, yeah. Those are the kind of little things you forget. It seems so simple. But when you are struggling to find your rhythm, your momentum, you really forget things like keep my head still, allow the ball to come into my space.

“Also, you got to act a bit. You got to walk out there, chest out, ready to punch the guys, and before you know, you are really in the mix of things, enjoying your innings.”

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