'Fighting Through Physical Challenges…': Virat Kohli 'fatigued', Kl Rahul 'tired' Due To Chennai's Sapping Heat
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‘Fighting Through Physical Challenges…’: Virat Kohli ‘fatigued’, Kl Rahul ‘tired’ Due To Chennai’s Sapping Heat

Battling Chennai’s scorching, humid and muggy weather, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul stitched a match-winning partnership for India against Australia in Chennai.

Virat Kohli will turn 35 next month. And as tough a pill it is to swallow, even India’s fittest cricketer is feeling the effects of father time. The sight of Kohli gasping for breath after completing a double against South Africa during last year’s T20 World Cup, is still fresh in the minds of many, and just last month, Kohli admitted he was ‘tired’ after India played three consecutive days of ODI cricket in the rain-marred Asia Cup. Yet, given the standards of fitness he has set for himself and the world over, along with a required recovery time, Kohli still continues to grind and thrives in his performances, the most recent of which came during India’s World Cup opener against Australia in Chennai, where coming out to bat at 0/1, Kohli scored 85 and along with a match-winning partnership with KL Rahul saw India over the line.

But the conditions were by no means easy to bat on. He was in early after spending 50 overs in the energy-sapping heat of Chennai, and by the time he walked out to bat, although the sun had set, the muggy and humid weather, coupled with the two-faced nature of the wicket had Kohli in one of the sternest tests of his career. It took him a few overs, a couple of wildish heaves through the off side and a reprieve via a dropped catch, but once Kohli got his eye in, the master of India’s chase went about his business.

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After India wrapped up a resounding 6-wicket win with 56 balls to spare, the two architects of victory, Kohli and Rahul sat together for a candid chat, where they discussed the different phases of the game. Kohli weighed in on how testing it was to play at the Chepauk during an intense evening and admitted that fatigue did get to him eventually.

“One thing that for me was the highlights of our partnership was – obviously it was because of the low total – but how content we were to knock the ball around. Not necessarily looking at the number of balls we had played and the runs we had got. Just fighting through the physical challenges of what we had to experience through the afternoon and coming into the evening. The pressure obviously makes you feel more tense and you start getting more fatigued that you actually are. Just knocking the ball around and then bringing the total down 10-15 runs at a time. That for me I felt like was something that really helped us build that big partnership,” Kohli told Rahul in a video uploaded by the BCCI.

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The 165-run partnership between Kohli and Rahul was the second century stand the two have been involved in within a month. During India’s Asia Cup Super Fours clash against Pakistan in Pallekele, Kohli and Rahul smashed an unbeaten 233-run partnership, with both batters returning unbeaten to take India to a powerful 356/2. It was their highest total against Pakistan in ODIs during which several other records were broken but these two partnerships show just how well Kohli and Rahul gel when batting together. Spare a though for Rahul too. The guy kept wicket for 50 overs and had less than an hour to come out and save India the blushes. Like Kohli, Rahul revealed he was tired, but the overall result took it away.

“Tired. I won’t lie,” said Rahul when Kohli asked him how his body was feeling. “You know how it was. The only chat after I think 50-70 runs of partnership was ‘let’s conserve the energy, let’s not run the twos but yes once we get it in the gap, the body and the instincts take over and you end up running. It was a tough day, glad that we could get the journey of our World Cup started with a good victory.”

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