Ahead of the three match Test series against Sri Lanka next week, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli looked confident when he spoke about the pressure of captaincy, his aggression and Kumar Sangakkara’s Farewell match in a Press Conference a day before taking the field against Sri Lankan Board President’s XI.
While speaking about captaincy, Kohli said that he will not mix batting and captaincy since both are different aspects of the game. He also rubbished the fact that there will be extra responsibility on him to do well as a captain. He said Captaincy and batting are two aspects that I will not try to mix. I bat in a very responsible way, so I dont think I need to change too much in that aspect. As far as my batting is concerned, I am not taking any added pressure. It has to be the collective effort of the whole batting group to make sure we get good, big totals for our bowlers to have a crack at the opposition. I would obviously like to do well on the tour but more importantly, what matters is how we play as a batting group and how we complement each other and play according to the situation and the sessions demand us to do.
Kohli also expressed his desire to repeat his heroics which he did against them in the past. He mentioned Sri Lanka as an opponent against whom he loves to score some runs and stressed the relations between both the countries’ boards.
Sri Lanka is one team we enjoy playing against each other. I remember in 2008-09 we played them so much we were actually thinking of buying houses here because we were here every three months! Sri Lanka has been one team which has been generous as far as our cricketing relations are concerned. I remember last year when we had a problem during the West Indies series, they generously agreed to step in. So, I am really grateful for that. Teams like them make international cricket more competitive and enjoyable as well, play with a lot of respect and dignity as well, he added.
Kohli also promised to play the same aggressive brand of cricket his played in Australia as the whole team believes in the mindset and will give their best in Sri Lanka. On a personal note, Kohli added that his aggression brings the best out of him.
Kohli quoted I know I have been criticised a lot for being aggressive at times, but that is something that has given me success as an individual and that is something that we believe in as a team as well. I am not saying the line of discipline has to be crossed, but in terms of body language and mindset, we would like to play cricket the way we did in Australia and, I felt it gave us a really good chance to be competitive against a really good team in their home. I dont find any need to change the way I played or play at the moment. The whole team believes in the same mindset and that is what we are going to do in the series.
According to Kohli, India will look to get Sangakkara out as soon as possible. Kohli hailed Sangakkara, who will playing his final test series in his International career by saying He deserves the best of farewells. If you ask any left-hander in the world who he idolises, Sangakkara has to be one of the top three people, most of the left-handers, batsmen in general, look up to. His record, in cricket, and Test cricket, has been magnificent. He has been such a match-winner for Sri Lanka. They are going to dearly miss him. I have had a great relationship with him as well. Whenever we have played against each other, we have had conversations and he is someone who will always talk about cricket and is always willing to help the younger players around. Great man, great cricketer.
Kohli concluded by saying As far as cricket is concerned, the plan is to get him out as soon as possible.