Southampton: Skipper of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli said Tuesday that he has learnt to deal with aspirations of a cricket-mad country but making right decisions consistently on a cricket field is a gradual process.
Kohli has had the distinction of scoring centuries in India’s opening games in the 2011 (vs Bangladesh) and the 2015 (vs Pakistan) editions of the World Cup. Asked if he could complete the coveted hat-trick of tons against South Africa in India’s World cup opener Wednesday, Kohli said dealing with such expectations is now part and parcel of his life.
“Look, when you perform and you perform for a long time, expectations are always there and I sort of understood how to go along with it. You don’t go out there to prove anything to anyone, which is a fact, but you have to accept that expectations are going to be there,” Kohli pointed out.
Kohli said he has his own mechanism to deal with this insane amount of expectations.
“When I walk out to bat, come down the stairs, people will say we need a hundred and all those kinds of things will happen. For me, that’s just a part of the process now. It’s not something that I don’t want to hear, or something that I think people should not tell me because when you do well, people obviously want to see you do it again and again because they want to see the team win,” stated Kohli.
Kohli said that owning up mistakes and taking corrective measures is something that he has learnt gradually. “No one can make all good decisions or right decisions all the time, so important is to try and make the right decision,” said Kohli. “But then to own up to your mistakes and accept the errors as well, is a process that I am slowly learning.”
There are usual butterflies before any big event but Kohli doesn’t feel anything different on a day before India’s World Cup campaign sets rolling.
“For me, I have this feeling before every game that I play honestly and I can’t differentiate. Yes, if you just say the word ‘World Cup’, it brings a different kind of feeling to your mind and heart,” Kohli pointed out.
“In 2011 or 2015, I had similar kind of butterflies in my stomach. Even when you walk into play in a Test match and you walk in at 10-2 you have the same butterflies in the stomach, so that is a very consistent factor. When that starts going down, you know what comes next (indicating about retirement). “I’m glad it is going on and I’m feeling excited, anticipation and a bit of nerves as well which is always good for any sportsman to have, so it’s pretty similar to the past,” the Indian skipper added.
The format of this edition of the World Cup is the ‘toughest’, he reckoned. “Looking at the length of the tournament and the format of the tournament, yes, it will be tough for any captain, including myself,” asserted Kohli.
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