Indian Fielding Coach Reveals That Virat Kohli Inspired ‘Mission Melbourne’ Before Leaving For India


Team India picked themselves with grace after a humiliating first Test loss at Adelaide. Virat Kohli-led Indians were bowled out for just 36 runs in the second innings of the first Test. However, the Men in Blue made a strong comeback against the Baggy Greens as they clinched the ‘Border Gavaskar’ trophy for the second time in a row.

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IND vs AUS: Virat Kohli’s last words before leaving the Indian squad

Skipper Virat Kohli left the Indian squad after the first Test to be with his wife Anushka Sharma to be present for the birth of their first child. However, the skipper made sure to do the necessary deeds before leaving for India. Indian fielding coach R Sridhar recently revealed that skipper Kohli texted him at midnight to discuss about the Melbourne Test before he departs from Australia.

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R Sridhar, in a chat on Ravichandran Ashwin’s YouTube channel, spoke about the time when Kohli joined Ravi Shastri’s coaching staff a day before he left for India. “It was midnight, around 12.30 am, the night we lost the Adelaide Test. Virat Kohli messaged me: ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked. I thought ‘why is he messaging at this time?’ I told him ‘head coach (Ravi Shastri), myself, Bharat Arun and Vikram Rathour are sitting together’. He said, ‘I’ll also join you’. I said, ‘no problem, come over.’

“He came there and all of us started discussing. That’s where ‘Mission Melbourne’ began. Shastri made a point there: ‘This 36, wear it like a badge! This 36 is what will make this team great’,” said Sridhar. Sridhar added that Kohli and Rahane discussed as to what would be the way forward.

“We were slightly confused but then we started talking about the decisions we’d have to take. Then Virat called Ajinkya the next morning and we had a very good discussion. After a 36 all-out, usually, teams would strengthen their batting. But Ravi Shastri, Virat, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling. That’s how we replaced Virat with Ravindra Jadeja, and it was a masterstroke,” concluded Sridhar.

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