I am Learning Everyday as Captain, Says Virat Kohli
Johannesburg: India skipper Virat Kohli who has come under constant pressure for his leadership skills after India's disastrous start to the South African tour said that he is learning everyday to improve as a captain and a player.
"Well every game is a learning experience whether you win or lose. The only thing that you learn is, you can go out and try to do things that have happened in the past, try and not make those errors and that’s probably the only thing that you take forward as a captain and as an individual also. That’s how you progress and determined at this level. So, it’s nothing different. I am learning everyday, it’s not like you stop learning at any stage; when you win you learn as well. So, we are trying to rectify those mistakes and keep the positives in our head at the same time. "
"As a captain as well, you want to proudly do better in situations when the game has gone away from you at times. So, I have thought about those things as well – how you can still keep the pressure on and not let the game slip away in very quick time. I always keep thinking about my game, how I can learn as a captain and get better in every aspect of what I do. I never stop learning." said Kohli at the pre-match press conference in Johannesburg.
He also said that such phases are a part of every sportsman's career and it important to take lessons from them moving ahead,
"As I said, everyday is a learning phase for me. If I didn't learn from the early days of my career, I wouldn't be here. So it's always an ongoing process of learning everyday, learning from your mistakes, correcting those mistakes and going forward. Even focussing on the positives, yoiu need to be able to still work on your positives to be able to be a consistent international player over a period of time. I have never stopped learning, I will never stop learning."
"Look responsibility can become less or more according to the phases, it's all about hanging in there and accepting all the phases that are coming your way. Sometimes the team is playing so beautifully, you don't need to do anything you feel so relaxed. So even this is a part of it. I have to take it in my stride and go forward. And not sit here and say 'this is a lot of burden' That's not the right attitude. I'm willing to go through any kind of phase, I have gone through bad phases in my career. Ups and downs are a part of a sportsman's career and I understand that. As I said you learn everyday and keep moving forward." said Kohli.
Talking about the pitch, Kohli said the wicket looks like a typical Wanderers pitch with pace and bounce, and India might look to play an all-seam attack.
"Well it’s definitely very different from the last game. I would say similar to Cape Town but a bit more grass on it which we expected. Yeah, it’s going to a very lively wicket throughout the course of the Test match. I think it’s going to be a typical Wanderers wicket where there’s good grass, the surface is going to be hard and good bounce also; pretty much like what was expected."
"We would definitely look at that option (all-seam attack). I am sure both the teams would be thinking about those options, because, as I said, we have taken 40 wickets so far and we need to figure out what’s the best way to pick up 20 wickets again in this Test match. We are going to have discussion on that as well, and the other combinations of the whole team as well. We will have a clear picture at the end of this afternoon." added Kohli.
Kohli also added that he was happy with the preparations made for the tour and he won't use that as an excuse after losing the series.
"I personally don’t feel that we didn’t feel prepared starting this series, I won’t sit here and point that out after losing a Test series. We had a week to prepare ourselves, five days because one day we were travelling. So we had that and we went ahead with that. As I said, we are not going to sit and think of outside factors that made us lose. It was our errors, our mistakes of not capitalising on situations that led us to the result being 2-0 so far. I am not pinpointing anything else, I think those talks are left for later planning for future," he said.
With India never having lost a Test match in Wanderers, Kohli said that the team has happy memories from the 'special' venue and the fans would also be expecting a close battle.
India's batting has been under the spotlight with the top order letting the team down with poor starts, Kohli said that it is something the team has worked on, including batting coach Sanjay Bangar.
"Everyone has been spoken to individually; the discussions have happened as to what went wrong, what happened, why it happened and the guys have taken it well. And as I said, anytime you step on to the field, you have an opportunity to correct your mistakes, and that’s how you progress at the international level. I am sure everyone is looking forward to rectifying those mistakes and then if they are in the same positions, consolidating those positions," the captain added.
Kohli though again emphasised on the word intent, saying it should not be mistaken with good strike rate.
"I don't think I mentioned strike-rate. Intent can be leaving the ball or defending the ball as the well. With your body language you can get to know how a person is feeling. That's precisely what I meant. Look, that's always going to be a big factor. When you are playing in conditions that are not your own, your belief and your body language in each minute of a Test match matters. "
"And as a collective unit. So that is something that we have discussed and that is something the guys are looking forward to embrace. As I said we are looking to correcting our mistakes in these two games and intent is going to be a big part of it," said Kohli, signing off.