virat kohli: View: Win or not, Virat Kohli will remain the same

Going into the final day of the Gaba Test, India had an enormous task at hand. Australia had set India a target of 328 and, on a wearing pitch, were overwhelming favourites to close out the series 2-1. The ball had started to misbehave from the cracks. It was going to be a serious test of India’s batters against the likes of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. How good would it have been had Virat Kohli been there, one thought?

“For years we have prioritised Test cricket. It is time we get the rewards for all the hard work we have put in,” Kohli had told this writer that afternoon. Losing wasn’t a consideration for India’s captain. Never has been. Yet he has lost key finals in his tenure and is yet to win a major title. Add Indian Premier League (IPL) to the list and you tend to ask what’s going on? In terms of preparedness, Kohli has always been up there. His emphasis on fitness has rubbed off on the team.

“The way I want to play cricket is if I have to dive and save a single in the 88th over of the day I should be able to do so time and again,” Virat had once mentioned. Kohli has also addressed the key issue of fear of failure. Even after the World Test Championship (WTC) final loss, he was unafraid while facing the media and in declaring that he was finding it hard to come to terms with what had happened.

“As long as I’m true to myself and prepare the best each time, I am not concerned about what is being said or written about me. I know how hard I work and as long as my preparations are exactly the way I want them to be, results will come,” he said.

Kohli has a rather interesting take on dealing with failure. “It’s not easy. Do I get affected by failure? Yes, I do. Everyone does. I am human at the end of the day,” Kohli said. “It is difficult to process failure at the big stage. But I totally believe that what’s meant for you will happen. Success and failure are a part of everything that we do in life, Whether it is sport or daily life, it is the truth of life and you need to be able to accept both with grace.

“You can’t say I’m the king of the world when you succeed and when you fail you beat yourself down so much that you can’t wake up again. Failure is a great way to analyse what went wrong and to improve on

those. Cricket is all about that. Life is all about that. Making a mistake and having the courage and clarity to say, ‘Okay, I have made a mistake’ is what is most important. I am not going to be egoistic about it. Rather, I will rectify the mistake and walk forward,” he added.

No one can say if he will be able to win a World Cup as captain. But what can be said is that with Kohli the effort put in will always be 100 per cent. India are going into the T20 World Cup as one of the favourites. It is Kohli’s last chance to script history as T20 captain. But if he doesn’t, he will still be the same person.

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