© Associated Sources
“It’s never a good feeling when you have played seven-eight years without missing a game. I am delighted to be back and excited to take the field.In Bengaluru, we will go in with the strongest possible combination and Chris is a big contender for the home games.” – Virat Kohli.
BENGALURU: When Virat Kohli walked into the prematch press conference, he wore a smile that lit up his face. He grinned throughout the 12-minute interaction on Thursday and was relaxed. Ready for his first game of the IPL season, the home skipper spoke on the lessons from the break and the match ahead. Excepts:
On his return from injury…
I got hit on the 16th (last month) so it’s almost been a month. It’s never a good feeling when you have played seven-eight years without missing a game. I am delighted to be back and excited to take the field. Time away reignites that spark in you. When you play a lot of cricket, that tends to go down. Luckily it’s stayed.
IPL a chance to break away from the controversies of the Australian series?
During the course of a big series, you go into a zone. Sometimes you think in hindsight, ‘maybe I could have done things differently, handled myself differently.’ You understand what’s important for the team. I learnt a lot from that phase, as a captain, individual and person. I wouldn’t say I will be disappointed if the attention is on me again, because I am used to it. I will handle it better than I have in the past and not necessarily take too much of a load onto myself. The last few weeks have been irritating as far as going on to the field is concerned… It will make me stronger and I will know how to handle it better.
On not travelling to Indore…
On Chris Gayle…
© THE TIMES OF INDIA
Virat Kohli was compared with US President Donald Trump by sections of the Australian media.
Virat Kohli’s constant friction with the Australians have taken immense proportions with sections of the Australian press taking up their team’s cause and running almost a campaign against the India skipper as a backdrop to the closely-contested Test series. One of the issues that have really snowballed is Kohli being compared with US President Donald Trump by the Daily Telegraph. This has spurred widespread responses, right from Bollywood to cricketers from both sides.
Kohli himself was contemptuously dismissive of the whole thing, and took a dig at the Australian journalist in question when asked about the issue at Dharamsala, ahead of the crucial 4th Test. He said that so many people were being affected by one individual.
“I have faced this initially in my career and have faced this many times in my career,” Kohli said during the pre-match press briefing, talking about the scrutiny by the foreign media.
“I have always stuck by the right thing, have done the right thing. Always said what I wanted to because I feel it’s right. I have no regrets about it, have nothing to go back and change and the only thing is that so many people are being affected by this one individual. They are selling their news, good luck to them.
“It is something that is happening on the outside and I try and look in the inside, what are the things I improve upon as a cricketer and as a person and what my team mates think about me and what my close ones think about me. These don’t bother me, it never mattered to me,” Kohli said.
The Daily Telegraph had called Kohli ‘the Donald Trump of world sport’, a statement which generated responses from an array of people, ranging from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to cricket star Yuvraj Singh.
“Virat Kohli has become the Donald Trump of world sport. Just like President Trump, Kohli decided to blame the media as a means of trying to hide the egg smeared right across his face,” the article in the Daily Telegraph had said.
The acrimony between the Australian team and Kohli had become massive in Bengaluru when the India skipper stopped just short of calling rival skipper Steve Smith a cheat in the now-famous ‘brain fade’ issue.
© NDTV SPORTS