Virat Kohli: I don't play for tons and that's why I cross it more

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Virat Kohli: I don't play for tons and that's why I cross it more

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SportsCafe Desk

09/16/2017

Virat Kohli has revealed that not thinking about the three-figure mark much has been the mantra of his success and that’s why he crosses the milestone more often. The Indian skipper also confirmed that Ajinkya Rahane is set to open with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will bat at the No.4 position.

Kohli recently scored his 30th one-day international (ODI) hundred against Sri Lanka equalled former Australia captain Ricky Ponting's record of centuries. Kohli now ranks below Sachin Tendulkar, who had scored 49 ODI hundreds during his two-decade-long career. However, the striking difference between Kohli and Tendulkar was the frequency with which the former managed to hit hundreds.    

On being asked if these staggering numbers play on his mind, the Indian skipper replied, "I don't play for the three-figure mark, maybe that's why I end up crossing it more. Because I am not thinking about it. So I don't put myself under pressure in terms of I need to achieve a landmark. For me, what's most important is to win the match for the team."

"As I said before even if I am 98 not out or 99 not out, I don't mind, as long as I win the game. In that process, things end up happening because you want to stay till the end. So my motivation has never been that, it will never be that."

"Whatever time I play, 8 years, 10 years or 12 years whatever it is, I will never think of that because it just doesn't come to me naturally. For me, what's most important is how can I help the team win with the bat in the field, giving my 120 per cent every time I step onto the field and preparing accordingly. That, I think, is more important to me than the personal landmark," he said.

KL Rahul has faced a fair amount of struggles in the limited-overs format of late but the skipper is confident that the Karnataka batsman will come good at his new No 4 slot as Ajinkya Rahane set to open with Rohit Sharma in Shikhar Dhawan’s absence.

“KL [Rahul] is an outstanding talent. He has proved himself in all formats. And he is someone who needs to be backed. Because we believe that he has the ability. Once he gets his role done, he will start winning us games. We are very sure of that.”

“It takes time, I am not saying it is easy,” he explained. “If you see Jinks (Rahane) as well – he has played in the middle order in the ODIs, he plays in the middle order in Test matches. He’s also opened a lot in ODIs as well. He also felt that he found it difficult to switch. Now we’re backing Jinks at the top of the order. So he knows his plans are clear.

“So once you get that balance with giving that player more chances, then he gets more confident of his role in the team. Obviously, Manish (Pandey) and Kedar (Jadhav) are there as well, so there’ll always be competition for a particular spot. KL is an outstanding talent. He’s proved himself in all formats. And he is someone that needs to be backed because we believe that he has the ability. Once he gets his role down, he’ll start winning us games. We’re very sure of that.”

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