Melbourne: Fresh from his spat with Australian counterpart Tim Paine, India skipper Virat Kohli said on the eve of the Boxing Day Test that he does not get affected by all the talk about his public image and people who know him and understand what he is.
“What I do or how I think, I am not going to take a banner outside to the world and explain that this is who I am and you need to like me or stuff like that. These are things that happen on the outside,” the skipper said on the eve of the third Test.
The series is level at 1-1 after Australia won the second match by 146 runs.
“I have no control over that. It’s an individual choice, what you want to focus on. My focus is on the Test match, winning the Test match and doing well for the team. That’s all it is,” Kohli pointed out.
“I honestly have no idea about any of the articles or anything that people say because that does not concern me. It’s not something I have written. Everyone is entitled to his or her point of view, and I have total respect for that. I just want to focus on good cricket, and try and make my team win,” expressed the 30-year-old.
The Australian media has chastised him after the row with Paine, even though Indian coach Ravi Shastri called him an ‘absolute gentleman’.
“He (Shastri) has spent enough time with me to know the kind of person I am. The people who know me, you can ask them. I won’t be answering this question myself,” said Kohli.
On the spat, Kohli said: “That’s past. It’s Test cricket, at the highest level, when two tough teams are going against each other, there will be things that will happen on the field. I think it is important to leave it there and focus on the next Test.
“We are not looking to find something to talk about. As long as the line is not crossed, you have no issues. I am sure Tim and myself both understand what happened and don’t want to do something unnecessary. We want to lead our teams well and play good cricket, which the public wants to see,” Kohli in his reply also sent a subtle message for the Australian captain.
Kohli scored a brilliant 123 in the second Test on a spicy Perth track. Asked about his preparation, arguably the world’s best batsman said it’s all in the mind and you cannot be daunted by the situation.
“As a batsman, if at any stage, you are hesitating or are scared of the pace and the bounce then you are definitely going to get hit. It’s something that you sit in your room and work on, it’s not something that you can arrive and feel on that particular day.”
Kohli added that for him, it’s about getting into a positive frame of mind more than anything and he works relentlessly to achieve it.
“For me, what has worked is being comfortable in where I am playing. Not necessarily looking at how difficult the wicket is, but if you are able to feel comfortable there, then you are more or less in control of what you want to do,” he added.