Dhaka (The Telegraph):
Virat Kohli was determined to be successful against Pakistan this time. That satisfaction came through in his screams of joy after reaching his 11th ODI hundred on Sunday.
At the post-match media conference, he said that he rated the innings on par with his Hobart knock against Sri Lanka.
The following are excerpts:
The plan when he went into bat
We lost Gautam Gambhir to the second ball of the innings and the plan was to initially get a big partnership going. We knew we could chase targets beyond 300 if we have wickets in hand. The aim was to put pressure on the opposition. We executed it perfectly… The partnerships happened. Once it happened, we took the game forward from there… We were cautious against the strike bowlers and kept wickets in hand. The ball was coming onto the bat well and we knew that bowling in the second half was tough. We executed the plan well.
If he was under pressure
I would be wrong if I said that there was no pressure… I hadn’t done well against Pakistan in the previous encounters… It’s a high pressure game and its always satisfying to chase down such a target.
Playing against Saeed Ajmal
I had seen him on TV and knew what to expect… But it’s not easy to pick him. He bowls quick and turns it both ways… We had a plan and it worked… I can only say it was challenging to play him. He’s one of the best in the business…
The show of aggression...
There’s no recipe for aggression… (Laughs) I always try my best to perform and be there till the end. It sort of works for me. Today I was able to go that extra mile because I was determined to score a big one… I had been getting out in the 130s and 140s… I tried to bat as long as possible since it was an important game.
Screaming after reaching the hundred
None of the rival players said anything… As I said I’ve played thrice against Pakistan and never scored many runs. I was determined to do well today (Sunday). That satisfaction came through in the end after reaching the century.
If making a 200 crossed his mind
Don’t know… I think it crossed my mind once but I thought this can’t be real… Just got back to my game and the batting… I was just looking at the ball…
On how he rates this innings
I will rate it on par with Hobart. This will always be more special because of the significance and a good opposition… It’s been satisfying.
Batting with Sachin Tendulkar
As a kid, I just wanted to see Sachin bat… See him from as close as possible… Now I’m playing with him… I feel proud and happy for my team that we won today. In the last game too, we did well but lost for not doing well in the last 4/5 overs.
His partnership with Sachin
Batting with Sachin is an honour… I’ve learnt so much from him during those partnerships… Even the smallest of things can help in a big way.
Batting with Rohit Sharma
I’m a fan of Rohit… Any of his long innings is a treat to watch… It’s a pleasure batting alongside him.
Crashing into Rohit while fielding
That sort of action happens… I could injure myself on the field but it doesn’t affect me… If you’re injured, it just can’t be helped. You’ve got to forget it and move forward.
Batting at No.3
The No.3 position is very important. I value my wicket more now. I set a platform and hope to cover it… Stay there till the end… If one is batting well at the other end, I let him take over… If not, I try to take control.
If he wants to make the No.3 position in Tests, which belonged to Rahul Dravid, his own
As a player I only aim to improve… You just can’t wake up one day and say I’m ready to take a guy’s place who’s scored so many runs. I will try to be a better cricketer everyday and hopefully can be consistent. But I’m no one to say that I would bat at such and such position.
If he can match Sachin in the number of centuries
I’ve got only 11… But matching him is mission impossible… I can only score as many runs as possible.
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