|Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, in Dhaka, on Sunday. (AFP)
Dhaka: Virat Kohli was determined to be successful against Pakistan this time. That satisfaction came through in his screams of joy after reaching his 11th ODI hundred on Sunday.
At the post-match media conference, he said that he rated the innings on par with his Hobart knock again Sri Lanka.
The following are excerpts
The plan when he went into bat
We lost Gautam Gambhir to the second ball of the innings and the plan was to initially get a big partnership going. We knew we could chase targets beyond 300 if we have wickets in hand. The aim was to put pressure on the opposition. We executed it perfectly… The partnerships happened. Once it happened, we took the game forward from there… We were cautious against the strike bowlers and kept wickets in hand. The ball was coming onto the bat well and we knew that bowling in the second half was tough. We executed the plan well.
If he was under pressure
I would be wrong if I said that there was no pressure… I hadnt done well against Pakistan in the previous encounters… Its a high pressure game and its always satisfying to chase down such a target.
Playing against Saeed Ajmal
I had seen him on TV and knew what to expect… But its not easy to pick him. He bowls quick and turns it both ways… We had a plan and it worked… I can only say it was challenging to play him. Hes one of the best in the business…
The show of aggression...
Theres no recipe for aggression… (Laughs) I always try my best to perform and be there till the end. It sort of works for me. Today I was able to go that extra mile because I was determined to score a big one… I had been getting out in the 130s and 140s… I tried to bat as long as possible since it was an important game.
Screaming after reaching the hundred
None of the rival players said anything… As I said Ive played thrice against Pakistan and never scored many runs. I was determined to do well today (Sunday). That satisfaction came through in the end after reaching the century.
If making a 200 crossed his mind
Dont know… I think it crossed my mind once but I thought this cant be real… Just got back to my game and the batting… I was just looking at the ball…
On how he rates this innings
I will rate it on par with Hobart. This will always be more special because of the significance and a good opposition… Its been satisfying.
Batting with Sachin Tendulkar
As a kid, I just wanted to see Sachin bat… See him from as close as possible… Now Im playing with him… I feel proud and happy for my team that we won today. In the last game too, we did well but lost for not doing well in the last 4/5 overs.
His partnership with Sachin
Batting with Sachin is an honour… Ive learnt so much from him during those partnerships… Even the smallest of things can help in a big way.
Batting with Rohit Sharma
Im a fan of Rohit… Any of his long innings is a treat to watch… Its a pleasure batting alongside him.
Crashing into Rohit while fielding
That sort of action happens… I could injure myself on the field but it doesnt affect me… If youre injured, it just cant be helped. Youve got to forget it and move forward.
Batting at No.3
The No.3 position is very important. I value my wicket more now. I set a platform and hope to cover it… Stay there till the end… If one is batting well at the other end, I let him take over… If not, I try to take control.
If he wants to make the No.3 position in Tests, which belonged to Rahul Dravid, his own
As a player I only aim to improve… You just cant wake up one day and say Im ready to take a guys place whos scored so many runs. I will try to be a better cricketer everyday and hopefully can be consistent. But Im no one to say that I would bat at such and such position.
If he can match Sachin in the number of centuries
Ive got only 11… But matching him is mission impossible… I can only score as many runs as possible.