CWC 2023: “World Cup is a challenge that excites me”- Virat Kohli says players are eager to win the trophy

Virat Kohli also mentioned Sachin Tendulkar while speaking about WC 2011 win.

Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina with the World Cup trophy in 2011 | Getty

India batter Virat Kohli talked about the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 which will be held in India from October 5 onwards and said that it is a challenge that excites him and the players want to win the title more than any anybody else.

Kohli already has a World Cup medal to his name, as he was part of the Indian team which won the title in 2011 and he became the first Indian to make a century on his World Cup debut when he scored a ton against Bangladesh in that edition.

Now 12 years and two semi-final defeats later, Virat Kohli is ready to take on the challenge of winning the ICC World Cup once again.

"Any challenge in front of you, you look forward to it. When difficulty comes in front of you get excited. You don't shy away from it. After 15 years I still like encounters, and the World Cup 2023 is one (challenge). It excites me, I need something new to, you know, propel me to another level," said Kohli at a promotional event.

Kohli did not dispute that he and the squad are under pressure from expectations. But he emphasized that the players themselves have the greatest desire to win the World Cup.

"The pressure is always there. The fans always say we want (the team) to win a cup very badly. I'd like to say no more than me. So, I'm in the right place. Honestly, I know the expectations are there and the emotions of the people are there. But please know that no one wants to win more than players," he said.

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Kohli was also the captain of the Indian team which won the U19 World Cup in 2008 and he spoke about winning the 2011 World Cup at home.

My career highlight is winning the World Cup in 2011. I was 23 at the time, and I probably didn't understand the magnitude of it. But now at 34, and has played many World Cups, which we haven't been able to win, So, I understand the emotions of all the senior players (in 2011).

All the more for Sachin Tendulkar, as it was his last World Cup. He had already played many World Cups by then and to win it in Mumbai, his hometown, was very special for him. I mean, it was stuff from dreams," said Kohli.

Kohli also remembered the pressure piled on players ahead and during the 2011 World Cup.

"I remember the amount of pressure there was on all the players when we were traveling, Thankfully, there were no social media back then. It would have been a nightmare, honestly. But through the airports, it was always just one thing -- we needed to win the Cup.

The senior players were always under the pump and had to handle all that pressure. It was just brilliant. And that night (after the WC win) in itself was something magical," he added.

Virat will be seen in action when India plays Pakistan on September 2nd in Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 tournament.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 28 Aug, 2023

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