Centurion: Indian skipper Virat Kohli has undoubtedly established himself as a modern-day great but the 29-year-old said that he doesn’t want to compare himself with anyone.
The talismanic right-hander, who smashed a record 558 runs in the recently concluded six-match ODI series against South Africa said that he doesn’t want to become 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,” said Kohli, at the post-match press conference after India defeated the Proteas by eight wickets to clinch the ODI series 5-1.
He also said that the key to his consistency is that he doesn’t think too ahead of himself.
“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,” said Kohli, after scoring his 35th ODI hundred, leading India to a comfortable win.
When asked whether he could be considered as the best batsman in world cricket at the moment, the 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 also said that he values the opinion of the team management about him and that he pays least attention to public opinion.
“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,” added Kohli.
When asked if this was India’s best victory, Kohli replied, “You people can tell!”
“One month back we were a very bad team. Now we are being asked these questions. We haven’t changed our mindset. Now whether this is the biggest win or no, whoever wants to analyze, write will do so,” he also said.
It was the same venue for the press conference when India had been completely outplayed in the Test series and Kohli, in his interaction with the reporters, had lost his cool.
“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,” the sarcasm was not lost on anyone.
“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,” the skipper said.
He also sounded a bit irritated when asked about the injuries to some key South African cricketers.
“Whether the team was what it was supposed to be was not in our hands. It’s none of our concern. We want to take the best team as far as we can on the field and have the best mindset to perform on every given day that we represent our country. That remains our mind set regardless of what happens,” said Kohli.