Virat Kohli Wants To Win The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Without Losing A Game

Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that winning for India was the only thing that mattered to him.


Virat Kohli-led Team India will face Pakistan on June 4.

India will be looking to retain the ICC Champions Trophy without losing any matches and the only thing that matters to skipper Virat Kohli is to win matches for India. “I would never play for redemption, my only motivation is to keep winning games for my country and doesn’t matter the conditions I am playing in, it might be in sub-continent, it might be England, Australia, South Africa, the aim always is to win games and I am willing to do whatever I can to be able to achieve that for the team,” Kohli said at the press conference before the team’s departure for the tournament.

“People might look at it redemption, opportunity or stuff like that but in my head I don’t think of those things at all, for me it’s a game of cricket played anywhere in the world,” the Indian skipper added.

He believes that the standard of competition in the Champions Trophy is higher than World Cup. The Indian captain was answering a question which related to his poor run in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).

Kohli had a fairly indifferent IPL, with 308 runs from the 10 innings he played after recovering from an injury he picked up during the Australia series.

His display included four half-centuries, which by his standards was a rather poor show, given his standards — he had four consecutive centuries in IPL 9.

The Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore ended at the bottom of the table and were dumped out of the tournament at the end of the league stage. They managed to win just three of their 14 league matches, the third win coming in their last match last match, against Delhi Daredevils.

“We want to win it without losing a game,” Kohli said. “We have to be at top of our game from Ball 1.”

India begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4. Kohli said that his sole ambition is to win matches for India.

“If players don’t do well in India and then go back, there is no hype around it, you don’t do well away from India it is like a knife hanging on your neck, so I don’t believe in those things.

“India, Pakistan game is always exciting but for us it is a game of cricket,” Kohli said. “The hype around India-Pakistan game not always in our control,” he added.

Kohli said that the presence of players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the squad only added to it.

“If given freedom, Dhoni and Yuvraj know how to bring their experience into play,” he added.

The tournament begins on June 1.

India have two practice matches to play ahead of the tournament proper, against New Zealand and Bangladesh.


Virat Kohli To Meet CoA Over Pay Structure

Virat Kohli to meet the CoA before the IPL final in Hyderabad on May 21.


NEW DELHI: Indian captain Virat Kohli is likely to take up the issue of hikes and payment structure of players when he meets the Committee of Administrators (CoA) before the IPL final in Hyderabad on May 21. It is learnt that senior cricketers, who had earlier told CoA that the current payment structure was unscientific and needed to be rectified, would discuss the payment structure. The cricketers would also take up the issue of non-payment of fees and other compensation which has been pending for months.

Sources have indicated that the mood is that players would not be willing for settle for less than what they are negotiating for. With their Australian counterparts making something to the tune of Rs 7 to 10 crore and even bargaining for more, the Indian players are keen that they too get something at par with the Aussies. Sources said that the Grade A players, who are paid around Rs 2 crore retainership fees, could be looking at more than Rs 7 crore especially for those who are playing in all the three formats for the country.

Indian cricketers get Rs 15 lakh per Test, Rs 6 lakh per ODI and Rs 3 lakh for T20I and a player of Kohli’s stature makes more than Rs 5 crore.

The main issue that could emerge is that players, who are not in Tests but only playing limited-overs cricket, should be paid under one basket and those who are only in Tests and not playing the shorter formats would get another set of retainership fees. Sources said that those who are playing in both the formats would be eligible for payment under both the retainership fees. If the players get a hike, they are also entitled to get separate match fees.

It was also understood that current management of the board is on the same page with the players, but they may not agree to such a big hike without understanding the whole dynamics of the payment to other domestic and junior levels. Even the board isn’t aware of any particular figure which the cricketers are looking at. Sources said that the CoA may be willing to keep the Grade A system for Test and shorter formats separate and ensure that a cricketer like Cheteshwar Pujara is duly compensated because of not playing IPL and shorter formats for India.

Furthermore, there is also a thought process that the Test retainership should be higher than the shorter formats. It would be interesting to see if the cricketers agree to it. “At the end of his career, Pujara shouldn’t feel that he hasn’t earned enough after playing Test cricket when an IPL contract could see an up coming domestic cricketer making more than him. There has to be a balance,” the board functionary said.

 Kumble too will meet CoA

Sources said that Indian coach Anil Kumble, who gave an exhaustive report on how the cricketers should be paid, is also going to meet CoA on May 21. However, he is supposed to meet the board functionary separately as per the agenda. The CoA, who is responsible for renewing all big contracts, is expected to discuss his financial terms as his contract with BCCI ends after the Champions Trophy.

 The top functionaries are keen that Kumble would continue after the ICC event and he can’t be penalised for expressing his view on Indian participation in the Champions Trophy when BCCI was at loggerheads with ICC.



Time Away Reignites The Spark In You, Says Virat Kohli

“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.


Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli at the prematch press conference on Thursday.

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…

 I stayed back in Bengaluru to work on strengthening my shoulder. I wanted to let the guys focus on their game and work on the sidelines. I enjoyed it a bit.

On Chris Gayle…

 Chris has always been a priority. The last game was a scenario when AB came in, Watson was the captain and other two guys were bowling well. It was difficult to leave three of the others out. (Selecting) AB is a no-brainer so Chris was left out. In Bengaluru, we will go in with the strongest possible combination and Chris is a big contender for the home games.