Virat Kohli admires Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson
India’s Test Virat Kohli is not competing with his three contemporary players -Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith, instead, he says, “I admire all three of them because we are from the same age group.”
Cricket pundits have identified four young cricketer who could go on to become modern batting great. Kohli is in that select club that includes Ken Williamson, Joe Root and Steve Smith.
Virat Kohli was asked by Khaleej Times, has he felt the urge to do better than those three? He said “No, I have never tried to compete with others”. Kohli was in Dubai, where he was unveiled as one of the co-owner of the IPTL team UAE Royals. He says, “rivalries are part of an individual sport like tennis. But there is no such thing in a team sport. Yes, I know people talk about Messi and Ronaldo in football, but I don’t think in any team sport, a player tries to outdo the other one.
“I think people are playing at a certain level or succeeding at a certain level because they want to improve their own game and focus on their own abilities rather than thinking about what the other person is doing,” Kohli said.
Talking about the trio- Root, Williamson and Smith- Kohli said, “I think it’s great for the sport in general that people can see players that excite them with the way they play. These three players are certainly taking the sport to another level with their performances. They are setting a benchmark for the upcoming children who want to take up the sport”.
On the same line, Kohli also feels they “don’t look at it as a competition or a rivalry. They are just looking to improve their game. That’s exactly how I feel too.”
He said the rising of those three cricketers will help the spectator to take delight of following the game. “The good thing them is that people can actually look up to the way those three play the game.
Asked about his first Test series wins being the captain when India defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 at their home. Kohli said, “winning is very important.”
“It is very important for the team to create that habit of winning. It gives you the belief that you can win a series as a team,” he further said.
He admitted that India’s Test series win in Sri Lankna after 22 years of jinx will make the team to play confidently in the future. “So, I think from that perspective, it was a very important win for the whole team and that will boost everybody’s confidence going ahead”, Kohli said.
The five bowlers strategy of Indian Test captain worked for a relatively inexperienced team against the struggling Sri Lanka, but Kohli has realized that stick with five bowlers strategy would be foolish in every series.
“I think it really depends on who you are playing against and what sort of conditions you are playing in and what the situation demands from the team. It’s certainly not a set pattern that we want to stick to at any cost. Things can be spoken about and it can be altered according to the needs of the team,” Kohli said.
With South Africa will four match Test series will start on November 5, Kohli says he will lay out plans for the Protea in consultation with team management.
“What the management, myself and the players feel is the best for the team will be done. So it’s certainly not something concrete. It has worked for us against Sri Lanka. We have learned from that but we can obviously adapt to different situations and different oppositions,” Kohli signed off.