A mind free approach


Speaking to this paper prior to the ongoing Test series, Nick Compton had revealed how an interaction with Rahul Dravid last year had completely changed his approach towards the game. Not to forget make him a better batsman.

"Rahul told me that trying to attain perfection with the bat is like a dog chasing his own tail. The secret is to back your strengths," the England opener had said.

After a promising start, Compton's first-class career had hit a ditch. In his own admission, the downfall was a result of a puritanical obsession with regards to batting technique. But the session with Dravid had taught him a valuable lesson. To bat with an uncluttered mind and that it didn't matter how it's done till the time you are piling on the runs. The outcome of loosening up was unprecedented for Compton. He topped the run-scorer's tally during the 2012 County Championship with 1191 runs at 99.25 before earning his maiden call-up to the England Test squad.

Incidentally, Dravid too had been a recipient of similar advice from a fellow master technician earlier in his career when Sanjay Manjrekar counseled a more relaxed approach. It's not that Dravid lost his intensity or drive to be successful. And rarely did he play a shot out of the book while amassing over 12,000 Test runs. But Dravid's secret was in never allowing his penchant for perfection grow too overbearing.

It's exactly what probably Virat Kohli needs to inculcate in order to replicate his limited-overs consistency in Test cricket. So far he's looked too caught up with the idea of Test cricket necessarily being played in a restrained manner and curbed his natural free-spirited style. It's unimaginable to think that he would have hit a loopy full-toss from an off-spinner tamely into mid-off's hands—like he did at Wankhede—if he was in coloured clothing.

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