Following his side’s five-wicket loss to Pakistan in the Super Four clash at the ongoing Asia Cup, former Indian captain Virat Kohli had some strong words of support for young pacer Arshdeep Singh, who had dropped a crucial catch in the 18th over of the match. A superb fifty by Mohammed Rizwan and cameo by Mohammad Nawaz powered Pakistan to a five-wicket win in a last-over thriller Super Four clash against Pakistan at the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday.
“Even when I played my first game against Pakistan in Champions Trophy, I played a bad shot and got out. Anyone can make mistakes under pressure. It is natural to feel bad. The team environment is great right now, credit for this goes to management and captain. So one must accept his mistake, address it and look forward to being in that pressure situation once again,” said Kohli in a post-match press conference on Sunday.
Talking about addressing the critics through his good performances, Virat said that he does not pay attention to such things. “I have played 14 years of cricket. It does not happen by chance. I was able to score runs. My job is work on my game, something I am always keen to do, to improve my game for the team. People have their opinions but that does not change my happiness as a person. I had taken some time off, put things in perspective. This has given me relaxation and realisation that this all is not the end of world and I need to enjoy my game. I was able to find that excitement again. The environment was welcoming when I came back and I am enjoying the way I am batting.
“When I left Test captaincy then one person messaged me was MS Dhoni. No one else even though they have my number. Neither he wants anything from me and nor I want anything from him. If there is a genuine connection, it is reflected this way. We were not insecure of each other. People give a lot of suggestions publicly. If I want to say something to someone, I would reach out individually. If one does want me to improve, he can talk to me one on one. But if you want to give me suggestions publicly, I do not hold value to it,” he added.
#WATCH | When I left Test captaincy, only MS Dhoni messaged me. A lot of people have my number, but no one messaged me. The respect and connection with him (MS Dhoni) is genuine… neither he is insecure about me, nor I am insecure about him…: Virat Kohli, Indian cricketer pic.twitter.com/kSTqAdfzs5
— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2022
The batter admitted that Mohammad Nawaz’s innings of 42 runs in just 20 balls was a turning point in the game. “A chance was taken by sending him up the order. To play such impactful innings is good. Had his innings been restricted to just 15-20 runs, things could have been different,” he added.
Kohli is extremely satisfied and happy with his team’s aggressive approach in T20Is and it is not shaken by wickets lost in middle overs. He said that he was trying to hit the ball at a faster rate but as wickets fell, he had to carry on batting till the end and hold one end steady.
“The way we have been playing, it has been giving us the results that we need. Our middle overs run rate improved and I took notice of it as a batter as one area where we need to work to improve. But sometimes, things do not go your way. We lost some wickets in the middle phase which did not allow us to take the game towards 200-run target because Hooda and I, bowlers were to follow. Given the situation, if we had more wickets in hand, we could have got more runs,” he said.
(with ANI inputs)