Prior to the Asia Cup, there was much discussion about Virat Kohli’s performance; but, a one-month break has worked wonders for the former captain, who is now back in top form in the ongoing sub-continental competition. The right-handed hitter has 154 runs scored in three games so far, with a top of 60 against Pakistan on Sunday during the Super 4 stage. The match was decided by five wickets, and Team India will now face Sri Lanka on Tuesday at the same location.
At a press conference after the game, Kohli admitted that only MS Dhoni contacted him when he resigned as Test captain in January of this year. He also clarified his perspective, saying that it is preferable to make comments one-on-one rather than in public. “When I left Test captaincy, I only received a message from one person and I have played with that person in the past. That person is MS Dhoni, anyone else did not message me. Many people have my number, and there are many people who give me suggestions on the TV. There was just MS Dhoni who messaged me, many people have my number, but they did not text me. When you have genuine respect and connection with someone, you are able to see that because there is security from both sides,” said Kohli during a post-match press conference.
“I don’t want anything from him and he does not want anything from me. I was never insecure from him and he was never of me. I can just say that if I want to say something to someone, I will reach out individually. Even if you want to help. If you want to give a suggestion to me in front of the TV or the whole world, it does not hold any value to me. You can talk 1-1, I see things with utmost honesty. It is not like I do not care, but you see the things how they are. God gives you everything, only God helps you achieve success and it is all in his hands,” he further added. After the World Cup, Kohli relinquished his T20 captaincy. The next year, the selectors wanted the same captain for the white-ball formats, thus they replaced him as the ODI captain. Following a series loss to South Africa, Kohli resigned as Test captain. Arshdeep Singh dropped a key catch in the 18th over of the Pakistani team’s innings, which ultimately proved to be the game-changing event.
Talking about this moment, Kohli said: “Anyone can commit the mistake, the situation was tight. It was a high-pressure game and mistakes can happen. I still remember I was playing my first Champions Trophy and the match was against Pakistan, I had played a very bad shot against Shahid Afridi. I was watching the ceiling till 5 am, I was not able to sleep and I thought my career is over but these things are natural. Seniors players get around you, there is a good team environment right now, I give the credit to the captain and coach. The players learn from their mistakes. So one must accept his mistake, address it and look forward to being in that pressure situation once again.”
Talking about Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, the former skipper said: “Both Hardik and Suryakumar Yadav have been brilliant. Hardik has realised his potential fully. From the IPL that happened this time around, he has become a different character, very responsible and very aware of his abilities. That is the difference I see, he realises what he can do as an all-rounder and he is working as hard as I have ever seen him. To play like this and get back to full bowling fitness will be a massive factor. And Suryakumar, I do not think there are hardly any players in world cricket who can play like that, once he gets going, he can take the game away,” he added.