Team India captain Virat Kohli opened up on the 2014 England tour and called it a milestone in his career. The 2014 England Test tour was probably Kohli's worst-ever show in his career till now. He managed to score only 134 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.40. Kohli struggled a lot against England's spearhead James Anderson and was criticized by many for his poor show.
In a conversation with Team India opener Mayank Agarwal on BCCI.tv, Kohli claims that the 2014 England will always be the milestone in his career.
"2014 will be a milestone in my career. Lot of people take good tours as a milestone. That tour of 2014 will always be the milestone in my career. From where I thought things might go bad for me very soon because the next big tour was Australia. I had to sit down and change the way I thought and approached the game," Kohli said.
"I started being more fearless, not in situations which sort of seemed easy, like in white-ball cricket, you invariably knew what the situation was. You prepared yourself, you get motivated very easily.
"But Test cricket, when it gets tough, to maintain your composure is the most difficult thing for a cricketer. That is something I really needed to correct," he added.
Kohli claims if that tour hadn't happened then he wouldn't have improved his game.
"If that tour hadn't happened, I would have continued probably the same way I was. I wouldn't have improved. That tour really made me think how I wanted to approach my career, 'Do I just want to be a pushover every time I played Test cricket?' he said.
"Basically I was too worried about thinking of the ball that might come in. That's why I was opening up very early and the ball that was going away was getting me every time. So I just couldn't get past that confusion.
"I never really paid attention to how people perceived me, after 2014. It obviously troubled me a little bit," Kohli added.
Kohli said after that he went through that journey on his own as all his credibility as a player went away in a month.
"All my credibility as a player went away in a month or so. So you do feel like, when you know you're good enough but you're focussing too much on what people say, that can disappoint you. I did that as well. I went through that journey on my own.
"Then I stopped focusing on what people said about me," the Indian skipper said.
The 31-year-old also revealed that after returning from the tour, he spoke to batting great Sachin Tendulkar and had few sessions with him to work on his hip position.
"I came back, I spoke to Sachin paaji as well. I did a few sessions with him in Mumbai. I told him I am working on my hip position but then he made me realise the importance of a big stride against fast bowlers as well," Kohli said.
"So the moment I started doing that with my hip alignment, things started ironing out pretty nicely for me. I became more and more confident with following that pattern."
Kohli also recalled the incident when Shastri call him and opener Shikhar Dhawan in his room after England tour to gave some valuable advice
"Well, it was after the England tour in 2014. He (Shastri) called me and Shikhar to his room. He called for a bat as well.
"He has such a keen understanding of the game. Little things that you do can make a huge difference, he knows that. Because from a lower-order player to opening the batting for India and averaging 40-plus and scoring hundreds almost everywhere in the world, you have to have a good understanding of the game. His understanding was very sharp," Kohli said.
The Indian skipper said Shastri told him to stand outside the crease to take control over the game and the results were seen instantly in the next series against Australia later that year.
"He told me something, which I started practicing which is standing outside the crease. He explained the mindset behind it: 'You should be in control of the space you're playing and not give the bowlers to get you out. So many dismissals get taken out when you're standing outside the crease.' I started doing that in Australia and the results were unbelievable.
"Ravi bhai asked me one thing, he asked me if I was afraid of the short ball. I said no. Then he said 'good, then stand outside the crease'. I said I am willing to get hit but not get out.
Kohli further recalled that during the 2018 England tour, Shastri saw him practising ahead of the tour game and remind him to stand outside the crease, which helped him gain success in that tour.
"Before the tour game in 2018, Ravi bhai saw me practicing and asked me again why I was not standing outside the crease. 'Why have forgotten?'
"So I went back into the nets and did about 40 minutes of standing outside the crease. It was absolute chalk and cheese."
Kohli came back stronger in the 2018 tour with the added responsibility of captaincy and ended the series as the leading run-scorer with 593 runs in 5 matches at an astonishing average of 59.3.