Indian skipper Virat Kohli is currently in a great form with the bat. In the recently ended six-match bilateral ODI series against South Africa on their home soil, Kohli scored total 558 runs with the average of 186. He scored three centuries and another half-century during the ODI series. Before that, he had also brilliantly performed in the Test series on the same tour where he was the most runs scorer as he had scored total 286 runs with the average of 47.66.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is currently looking in a great touch as his unstoppable performance helped India to win the recently ended six-match bilateral ODI series against the hosts South Africa by the 1-5 margin.
Talking about his own performance, Kohli stated in the post-match press conference of the 6th ODI at Centurion, “Look I will be very honest with you, at this stage, I don’t feel like competing with anyone. It is all about how I prepare for the game and what my work ethics are and how I am feeling on game day and my only motivation is to get into that frame of mind. I am not competing with anyone at all. If anything, I only look to help my team in any way I can. And during the course of that, I have mentioned that if you are thinking about the team, special things happen.”
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Kohli also added that he felt good about all the praises but would not live in a dreamland. He said, “Look as I said, I’m not going to give in to this. I know for a fact that 90 percent of the people didn’t give us a chance after two Tests. I was sitting in the same room giving a press conference. So we understand where we’ve come from. I’m not going to live in a dreamland right now and accept all the praise and sit here and feel good about this because it doesn’t matter to me. Honestly, it doesn’t.”
The 29-years old Indian captain also said that he didn’t want any headlines. He said, “As I said I don’t want any tags, I don’t want any headlines, I just go out there and do my job, it is up to the people to write what they write, I don’t want to be called anything, it’s my job, I am supposed to do what I am doing and I am not doing anyone a favour as I said, so just want to be in this zone of working as hard as I can and trying to do the best for the team. Everyone is doing a job, they have the freedom to write and say what they want but it’s very important that I don’t change with that because my zone is very simple, it is simply doing hard work and performing for the team.”
Earlier, India had lost the 3-match Test series on this tour before beginning the ODI series. Kohli stated that he had not got enough time to prepare for the earlier Test series. He said, “I obviously didn’t have much time to prepare because I was doing something very important, I was getting married. So three weeks I was totally away from the game, but at the back of my mind, there was always this motivation that I just want to be in South Africa. It’s embracing being in a difficult situation and that’s all we speak about in the change room as well.”
Kohli also revealed that how he surpassed a hard time. He said, “When things are hostile and when thing are not going your way, you want to go out there in the middle rather than getting extra sleep in the room. It is a very small change of thought but that makes a massive difference because when you go out there, you either want to take up the challenge or you don’t and that can only come from here.”
Kohli also backed Aiden Markram’s captaincy and said that Aiden has a potential to be their next leader. Kohli said, “Aiden (Markram) has obviously captained his province and he has captained at the junior level as well. I would really suggest people show patience with him because he is potentially your next leader. He is a top-class batsman as well. It’s a joy to watch him play and he has definitely got the talent to dominate as a batsman. He’s got the right mindset to dominate as a leader too. He just needs some time. I can totally empathize with him because we’ve been in that position. All I can say is he’s on the right track.”
Kohli also answered the question about dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar and replacing with Shardul Thakur for the 6th ODI. Kohli replied, “There was potentially only one guy that we wanted to experiment with, which was Bhuvi because his workload was immense. Bumrah is a world-class bowler in this format. You know it’s a case of dropping Bumrah being similar to dropping a Shikhar Dhawan or a Rohit Sharma. Nobody will talk about those things. It’s very easy to drop the bowlers. Bhuvi’s workload was massive and the two wrist spinners (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) deserved to play all the games because of the way they have bowled. They have been one factor that was been in the mind of the opposition the most. So we thought giving rest to Bhuvi was the ideal situation.”
When Kohli was asked about giving a chance to Manish Pandey in the middle order, the Indian captain said that the team wanted to give more chance to Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer to strengthen the middle order. Kohli said, “We wanted to strengthen our middle order so (we are) giving them as many chances as possible. It is important for (Shreyas) Iyer and Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) as well. It’s very important to understand that one knock can be a difference in someone’s career. So (we are) giving them one extra opportunity. We discussed with the management and with the coach. Just one opportunity opened up where Bhuvi was feeling it in his body and hence the change. We didn’t feel like we wanted to change something else,”
At the end, Kohli also added that they would continuously figure out the key areas that need improvement, prior to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. “We will definitely sit down as a team and figure out the areas that need improvement. I am not denying that there are no areas that need strengthening. We know as a team we need to improve on a certain things. We have identified those things. It is up to us to discuss and improve on those things going forward and solidifying those areas for ourselves.”