SA v IND 2018: Virat Kohli doesn’t feel like competing with anyone

Kohli recorded his 35th ODI ton in the sixth ODI against South Africa.

Virat Kohli | BCCI

When it comes to batsmanship across all formats India skipper Virat Kohli is no less than a monster. During the ongoing tour of South Africa, the 29-year-old has taken his batting standard to a different level altogether. Having finished the three-match Test series against South Africa with maximum number of runs, Kohli recorded 3 more hundreds in the most recently concluded six-match ODI series against the same side.

Virat became the first batsman in the history of ODI cricket to amass more than 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. The Delhi lad finished the series with 558 runs at an incredible average of 186. While Kohli’s 112 in the first ODI at Durban helped India registering a 6-wicket victory, his unbeaten 160 in the third ODI at Cape Town ensured a whopping 124-run victory for the visitors.

Kohli put on yet another batting exhibition in the sixth ODI at Centurion on Friday (February 16) as India chased down South Africa’s paltry target of 205 with 8 wickets in hand and 107 balls to spare. Virat remained unbeaten on 129 off 96 balls to complete a 5-1 ODI series win over South Africa.

After the historic ODI series triumph, Kohli said he doesn’t feel like competing with anyone and also clarified that he has never ever played cricket to be a "headline grabber".

"At this stage, I don't feel like competing with anyone. It's all about how I prepare before the game and what my work ethics are and how I am feeling on game day. My only motivation is to get into that frame of mind. I am not competing with anyone at all," Kohli said at the post-match press conference on Friday.

"But if you are thinking about being ahead of someone else then you will be found out very soon by this game and you are compromising on what the team needs as well,” he added.

When asked if he can now be hailed as the best batsman in world, the Indian captain 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, so just want to be in this zone of working as hard as I can and trying to do the best for the team," he elaborated.

Virat once again made it clear that he doesn’t think much about the public perceptions.

"What matters is what the management thinks about me, what I think about the players and what the players think about me. That's all that matters to me. I know the headlines change from day in and day out. Tomorrow I play a bad shot and get out for zero everyone will conveniently do what they want to do, so it's not my job to say anything about what I do.

"Yes, if I make a mistake I will come here and accept it. I have never been one to give excuses and will remain like that. But I am never one to come here and praise myself. I can never do that because as I said, this is a job for me. I am not doing anyone a favour, the skipper's statement showed that how much the criticisms in the past has hurt him,” he explained.

After India’s Test series loss at this very venue about a month ago, Kohli had an altercation with the media and after the momentous ODI series victory on Friday, the Indian captain didn’t miss a chance to take a dig at a certain media person.

"I know for a fact that 90 percent 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," Kohli said.

"I am not going to live in a dreamland right now and accept all the praise, sit here and feel good about this, because it doesn't matter to me. Honestly it doesn't. It didn't matter when we were 2-0 down, it doesn't matter now that we are 5-1 up because what matters is the respect in the change-room," he concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 17 Feb, 2018

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