Virat Kohli, the captain of Indian cricket team addressed a press conference on Saturday ahead of India’s T20 match against South Africa on Sunday. In the press conference, Kohli answered a series of questions in which he spoke about his game and the mindset that should be set by the players. He said that the most important part is to keep working on improving the game and finding out the safest way possible to score runs rather than attempting risky shot selection.
“I try to mold my game according to my strengths and the mindset also matters as long as you want to play for your team, you will play any format with respect. So you cannot treat any format casually and that has always been my mindset that I play every game with 120%.” Kohli said.
He also spoke about giving chance to new players as the new talents who have done well in domestic cricket as well as IPL should also be given an opportunity. “It’s about finding the best balance and not necessarily stick to one combination, when other teams can bat till 9th or 10th batsmen then why can’t we?” He added.
When asked about the next year's T20 world cup preparation, Kohli said that the process is usually counting in reverse from the D-day of the world cup.
“The Indian team has 30 matches to work on before they hit the World Cup. We can experiment on various combinations in the next two-three series. It is the time to scout and judge new talents on their character, ability and composure to perform on the international level. So it is exciting from that perspective for a captain and the management to experiment with players placing them in different combinations and see their performances as we all know we have been through this process so it’s always good to see new talents showcasing their skills.”
The reporters asked Kohli about his view on the former captain MS Dhoni’s anticipated retirement and whether Dhoni should be a part of the squad for upcoming World Cup next year. Kohli in his reply said that Dhoni’s experience will always matter to the team. Dhoni has been written off many times and he has proved his critics wrong always. “One great thing about Dhoni is he thinks for Indian Cricket and he is always on the same page with us and still has the mindset to groom youngsters and give them opportunities. As far as the question of retirement is concerned, it is absolutely a personal decision and no one else should have a say in it. As long as Dhoni is available to us, he will be extremely valuable."
On being asked about having a stand to his name in Delhi, he said, "it is hard to believe as I still have a lot of cricket left in me and it’s a gracious gesture that I never expected so soon and as a cricketer, you never strive for these things but when the someone pays you that respect, you feel very grateful and honored."
On being asked about South Africa as opposition and whether the Proteas can be a surprise, Kohli said, “Any team can pull a surprise as Indian team has also beaten sides on their home conditions. If the team has a right mindset backed by ability, it will be difficult for the opponent to defeat them. So, we have to be absolutely sure of our game plan and as Ravi bhai (Ravi Shastri) has said in the past, every condition can be a home condition if you feel comfortable. So, getting into right frame of mind is important which we have been doing. Hence, we have been one of the most consistent teams in the past two-three years as we want to win every game whether it be home or away or any format.