Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India batsman Virat Kohli has announced that he doesn’t “feel the need to prove anything to people” following his successful cricketing career thus far.
However, Kohli is set to face one of his toughest challenges yet in the upcoming five-Test series against England, which gets underway on July 9 in Nottingham.
“Initially, you try to prove it to the critics that you’re good enough to play at this level,” Kohli told BCCI.TV. “Now I don’t feel the need to prove anything to people. It’s not that I believe that I have achieved it all but because I’ve realised that it is not important to prove anything to others. It’s (more) important what I think of my performances and what I expect from myself.”
Kohli also noted that he won’t be seeking any advice on how to score big runs in England since he is confident in his own ability.
“Playing a Test series in England is a big thing in my mind and I don’t need people to tell me that he needs to score big runs in England and that this is the big test for him,” Kohli said. “I know that I want to score runs here and in every other country because I want to be the best.”
Kohli also lashed out at the critics since he has noticed that they tend to be very harsh when one player does not perform well during a series.
“Cricket critics in our country are strange. You may have scored runs everywhere but if you don’t do that in one country or series, they start doubting if you’re good enough. They did that to the seniors as well during the fag-end of their careers,” he said. “If you want someone to do well, you say positive things to and about them and not pull them down saying if they don’t prove themselves in certain conditions, they will remain flat-track bullies. I have stopped paying attention to them. When I get out, I’m the first one who feels about it.”
The Indian vice-captain also revealed that he has picked up a lot of tips about the art of captaincy from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Yes, I try to figure out why he (Dhoni) has done a certain thing. I try to see things from his perspective and understand his reasoning behind a decision,” he said. “For me standing in the field is not just about waiting for the ball to come to me, field it and throw it back.
“For instance, I am standing at long-on, a leg spinner is bowling and the long-off fielder is standing a bit straight, I think why is he not standing wider, why is there a man at point and not at slip?”
“If you can figure out how your captain thinks and why he is doing certain things in the field, you will be able to read what the opposition captain is planning against you as well. It adds so much to your game.”
When asked about how he manages to adjust between different formats, Kohli said: “There is a lot of planning that goes in my Test batting, but ODIs and T20Is are more spontaneous and instinctive. I go in to bat, see the scoreboard, assess the situation and figure out what needs to be done. I don’t sit the previous day and think that if this target comes up, I’ll bat like this.
“Once you do what your mind tells you to do, you’re going to be on the right side of the result. So, it’s very important to be confident in what you think and take your partner into confidence as well. There’s no pre-planning in the shorter formats, only reacting to the situations as they come.”