Mohali: The exuberant celebration wasn’t something new. After all, Virat Kohli is always known to let go of his emotions whenever he gets to a century, and on Wednesday night in Jaipur, he had also smashed Virender Sehwag’s record for the fastest ODI ton by an Indian, while also helping India complete the second- highest chase ever.
But the two-second break he took from the world around him seemed to be a pause of self-congratulation.
There was more to this knock against Australia than just helping India level the series — it was mission accomplished.
The secret is that the last time Australia were in India for a seven-match ODI series, in 2009, Kohli was going through a bad run and scored just 40 runs in the two games he got. And while he looks like a carefree guy, he was keen to make amends this time round.
“This series is very important for us. The last time we had a seven-match series, they won 4-2. And I don’t have very good memories of that series as I had played two matches and I didn’t play the best of shots and got out. So this series is very important for me as well as the team as we have done well in the past few series,” he told MAIL TODAY.
Kohli, who was greeted by a field full of chirping Aussies, said it never bothered him.
“I guess it is something that gives me more motivation when I am batting. You need to score runs to earn their respect because if you don’t, you will end up looking like a fool. I can’t let anyone take me for granted when I am on the field and I can’t see anyone bossing me around.”
The team has been doing really well and has shown great character, be it in Champions Trophy, or in the tri-series in the West Indies.
Kohli feels this team is destined for some great things in the future.
“It’s all about being consistent, as I see this Indian team doing great things in the future. Everyone’s career is building up together, everybody is young and really determined to perform, everyone is great friends with each other and that is working for the team,” the 24-year-old said.
Kohli, a fitness nut, is taking inspiration from the leaner and meaner seniors Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh. “Definitely, it was inspiring. I met Zaheer and Yuvraj when they came back and they looked like completely different people to be honest,” he said with a laugh.
(The interview was taken before the start of the series)
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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