Follow your heart, focus on your goals: Sachin Tendulkar advises Virat Kohli
India’s batting icon Sachin Tendulkar had a heartfelt piece of advice for present captain Virat Kohli, who is currently leading the Indian cricket team in a tough away tour in England.
India are currently in England for a five-match Test series and they are trailing 1-0 after England beat the Men-in-Blue by 31 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston.
Kohli lead from the front but alone as he scored a fighting 149 and 51 in the first and second innings, respectively, against England in the Edgbaston Test and toppled Steve Smith to top the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.
Tendulkar urged Kohli to continue with his batting exploits and follow his heart in order to achieve what he wants to.
“I would say, just continue, he’s doing a fantastic job so just continue,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Don’t worry about what’s happening around you, keep your focus on what you want to achieve, and let your heart guide the way.
“Along the way there will be plenty of things said and done, but eventually, if you are passionate about what you want in life, then the results will invariably follow,” the batting icon added.
Even as Tendulkar praised Kohli, he advised Kohli to not be satisfied by the number of runs he scores. Tendulkar warned that the downfall of a batsman starts when he is satisfied by what he has achieved.
“I can tell you from my own experience, however many runs you score they are never enough,” Tendulkar said.
“You want more runs, and that is the case with Virat. However many runs he scores, it will never be enough for him.
“The downfall starts when you are satisfied. It’s nice to be happy, but never be satisfied when you are a batsman. Bowlers can only get 10 wickets, but batters can go on and go, so don’t be satisfied, just be happy,” he said.
The circumstances of Kohli’s maiden century in England were far removed from those of Tendulkar’s, way back in 1990, when as a 17-year-old, he scored his first Test hundred against any opponent to save the second Test at Old Trafford and win the Man-of-the-Match award.
“Until then I hadn’t attended a press conference, so everyone in the dressing room was saying they are going to grill you!” he recalled. “I was most scared, but it wasn’t that bad, everyone was very friendly. But there was one question, ‘will you open the bottle of champagne?’, and I was only 17, so I said no way, I’m not going to do that now!”
There will be no-one quite as young as Tendulkar was back then when England and India reconvene at Lord’s this week for the second Test. However, with the 20-year-old Sam Curran producing a matchwinning allround performance at Edgbaston, and Surrey’s Ollie Pope in line for his Test debut at the same age this week, the question of when to blood young players is once again a hot topic.
Tendulkar, however, is unequivocal. “If somebody is good enough, they should play for their country, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “Age shouldn’t be a criteria.
“When I played my first game [against Pakistan in 1989-90], I was only 16, and in a way it helped,” he added. “I didn’t know what it was like to face Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir, possibly the best bowling attack in the world.
“You are fearless, you only see one side of the coin. With experience and maturity you start to see the other side of the coin as well, and you learn to balance things out.
“That is the age when you only go out and give your best, and that is what I would ask both these guys to go out and do. Enjoy the game because there will be tough moments, but that is what you practice for, that is what you live for.”