After completing a hattrick of Polly Umrigar Trophy wins, Virat Kohli gave a heart-warming speech where he said that he was not bothered by the criticism he received from his "haters". He then took a trip down memory lane to explain his journey to becoming one of the best in the world.
Following MS Dhoni's decision to step down as the captain of the Indian team, there was only going to be one man who could fill those big shoes. And fill them he has.
Since taking charge of the Test team in 2015, Virat Kohli has taken India to the top of the rankings, and in doing so leapfrogging arch-rivals Pakistan. Now, he is the face of Indian cricket being recently made the captain in all formats of the game.
“I thank BCCI for putting me in the kind of condition I am. I take this as an opportunity. It is not a job for me but a responsibility. I have been put in a place where I need to make the right decisions, follow a certain path on which the entire team believes. Along early days in my career, I had a lot of people doubted my game and there are haters even now. But, one thing is for sure that I have belief in myself and if I work hard I don’t have to think about anyone else," Kohli said.
Considered by most to be the best batsman in the world right now, the journey hasn't been an easy one for the Delhi player. His struggles in the early part of his career are well-documented and it was his single-mindedness to become the best that has bought him the success he is enjoying today.
“Well, I always wanted to be one of the top players in the world for sure. So, I understood what It would take for me to maintain my form in all three formats. It is very important to be available for all three formats when the transition period is going on,” he added.
“Last 10 to 12 months have been amazing. As a cricketer, everyone has a breakthrough year. Starting late 2015 to end of 2016, probably I can recall as a breakthrough year for me when I getting older.”
Humble as ever, Kohli was quick to point out that none of it would have been possible without the team and thanked the players for their support in getting him and the team to the top. India were staring down the barrel in the second Test in Bengaluru against Australia, where Kohli failed to put up a good score in both innings, but C Pujara and R Ashwin dug them out of the hole to level the four-match series at one game a piece.
"All the hard work, training and sacrifices came good. As I have mentioned in the past, none of this would have been possible without the wonderful team I have. At times when you don’t do well, champion players in your side step up and everyone has been able to do that and that," Kohli explained.
“On the very last wicket, we understood the importance of that win. So, kudos to all the team. It was one of the best games I have been a part of and as I mentioned before, a memorable one for all. I want to thank all my teammates who have stepped up at tough times and this is why we are the top side in the world.”
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.