Virat Kohli wants to focus on good cricket
He is what he is and he has no regrets whatsoever. That’s the message Virat Kohli conveyed on the eve of the Boxing Day Test versus Australia at the MCG, when asked about his image and how he conducts himself on the field.
All that matters to Kohli is doing well for his team and winning the game, nothing else.
During a media interaction on Tuesday, the India captain said: “Regarding what I do or how I think, I am not going to take a banner outside to the world and explain that this is who I am and you need to like me or stuff like that.
“These are things that happen on the outside and I have no control over them. It’s an individual choice, what you want to focus on. My focus is on the Test match, winning it and doing well for the team. That’s all it is.”
Kohli clearly said he wasn’t too concerned about articles and stuff written about him and his on-field conduct. “I honestly have no idea about any of the articles or anything that people say because that does not concern me. It’s not something I have written.
“Everyone is entitled to his/her point of view, and I have total respect for that. I just want to focus on good cricket, and try and make my team win,” was his simple reply.
Kohli’s behaviour in Perth and his frosty handshake with Australian counterpart Tim Paine at the end of the second Test copped criticism from some of the former players. But head coach Ravi Shastri defended Kohli, terming him “an absolute gentleman”, the other day while addressing the media.
“What’s wrong with his behaviour? As far as we are concerned, he (Virat) is an absolute gentleman,” Shastri had said.
When told of Shastri’s comments, Kohli responded saying: “He has spent enough time with me to know the kind of person I am. You can ask people who know me. I won’t be answering this question for myself.”
As for the banter with Paine in Perth, Kohli looks at it as a matter of the past, iterating that focus would be on ensuring no one crosses the line. “That’s past... But it’s Test cricket and at the highest level when two tough teams are going against each other, there will be things that will happen on the field.
“I think it is important to leave it there and focus on the next Test… We are not looking to find something to talk about. As long as the line is not crossed, you have no issues. I am sure both Tim and myself understand what happened and don’t want to do something unnecessary.”
About batting in unfamiliar terrains, Kohli said that it’s about getting into a positive frame of mind more than anything and he works relentlessly to achieve it. “As a batsman, if at any stage you are hesitating or are scared of the pace and the bounce, then you are definitely going to get hit.”
“It’s something that you sit in your room and work on, not something that you can arrive and feel on that particular day,” Kohli said, adding: “For me, what has worked is being comfortable in where I am playing.
“Not necessarily looking at how difficult the wicket is, but if you are able to feel comfortable there, then you are more or less in control of what you want to do. It’s something that I work on and I think that’s probably the only and the most important thing to get into that frame of mind, where you feel like you are ready enough to get runs anywhere.
“That takes a constant effort on a daily basis.”
For Kohli, success depends on how far one can handle the mental aspect of batting in a Test match. “It’s hardly anything technical. I feel it is 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent technical when you play in overseas conditions.
“The teams that stay in a good zone for long enough end up doing special things,” he said.