I don’t play for hundred that’s why I end up scoring it more times, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, has hinted that Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting for India in the first one-day international against Australia which is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Chennai

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai | Updated: September 16, 2017 8:42 pm
virat kohli, india vs australia, captain kohli Virat Kohli has said that Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting for India. (Source: PTI)

Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, has hinted that Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting for India in the first one-day international against Australia which is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Chennai. Speaking on the eve of the match, Kohli said that Rahane knows his plans are clear and India are backing him at the top of the order.

“It’s up to the player to take up a versatile position what the team requires him to do. I am not saying it’s easy. See Ajinkya Rahane plays in middle order in ODIs and Tests and then he has opened a lot in the ODIs are well. He also felt that he found it difficult to switch. Now we are backing Rahane at the top of the order so he knows his plans are clear. Once you get that balance with given that player more chances then he gets more confident of his role in the team,” he said.

“Till then there is Manish and Kedar so there will always be competition. KL is a outstanding talent and proved himself in all formats. He needs to be back because we believe he has the ability, once he gets his role done, then he will start winning you games and we are very sure of than.”

With the five-match series beginning on Sunday, Kohli said that India play every series with same intensity without thinking about who the opponent was. India recently white-washed Sri Lanka 5-0 in an away series.

“I don’t think we need to see any series differently. As I mentioned in Sri Lanka as well, your preparations should matter more than who you are playing against. You will asses the strength and weaknesses of the teams but you cannot increase or decrease you intensity according to who you are playing against. That’s not being fair to the sport and that’s something we as a team do not believe is. So, we like prepare the same way and play with same intensity regardless of who we are playing,” he said.

Talking about the balance of the team, Kohli said that if a batsman is looking to bat in the same position across formats, it will be difficult for the team to find the balance. He asked batsmen to be flexible.

“If you look to bat in the same position in all formats, then it can get very difficult for the team to find the right balance including that player. I think players need to adapt to what the team requirement is more often. For example, I have opened in T20 cricket and I would do that anyday if there is a guy who is in the middle order (who is going to strengthen the middle order). I should be flexible enough to do that. I have batted at four and top of the order as well,” he said.

India are without the top spin pair of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja atleast for the first three ODIs. But, Kohli said that most teams in the world are trying to have two all-rounders who are excellent fielders as well. He added that combination of three bowlers with two all-rounders is the new strategy.

“A lot of teams are heading that way. You need depth in batting and you need depth in bowling as well. Those two all-rounders provide that kind of balance. Someone like Hardik Pandya or Axar Patel or Ravindra Jadeja. I think we need to identify two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the departments. That is something that all of the sides are going to move towards this because of the strength it gives in both departments alongwith being a top fielder as well. It’s very very important. You need a proper all-rounder and not just a bowling and a batting all-rounder. It’s something we have focused and we will look to continue as well,” he said.

On his personal achievements, Kohli said that he never plays to achieve the three-figure mark. He only tries to finish the game for the India and in that process he manages to score hundred. Kohli already has 30 ODI centuries in just 186 matches.

“I don’t play for the three-figure mark that’s why I end up crossing it more times because I am not thinking about it. I don’t put myself under pressure in terms of achieving a landmark. For me what’s most important is to win the game for the team. Even if I am 98 not out I don’t mind, even if I am 99 not out I don’t mind as long as we win the game. In that process things end up happening because you want to stay till the end and if there is enough on the board you end up achieving those landmarks,” he said.

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App

  1. P
    Sep 16, 2017 at 11:12 pm
    I was trying to find out the X man behind Rahane. Today, I found out the silly guy is Kohli, who is unnecessarily backing Rahane. See Rahane's performance for the last fifty matches, he has done nothing, absolutely nothing and still he is getting chance after chance ! How many chances Rahane need to prove his mettle? He does not deserve to be even twelfth man in the team. Something is certainly cooking behind the curtain for his inclusion in the team. And today, in one stroke, Kohli equated the useless Rahane with Rohit, Shikhar and KL ! There is definitely something fishy behind their friendship. If Kohli is so much enamored with Rahane, let his sacrifice his own slot to accommodate his blue eyed boy. Onus lies on Selectors too.
    1. Debadutta Singh
      Sep 16, 2017 at 10:32 pm
      This is an oblique reference to the pompous and pampered Mr Useless Fatty who got the Bharat Ratna for being the idol of the likes of Pappu.
      1. R
        Sep 16, 2017 at 9:38 pm
        Ho do something
        1. S
          Sep 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm
          Yes , he is the best ever ... Tendulkar and gavaskar must be seething from the inside
          1. T
            Thomas George
            Sep 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm
            Why? Are you suggesting that they are worried about their legacy? I believe that Gavaskar and Tendulkar would love nothing more than their records getting shattered by an Indian while winning matches for India.
          2. K
            Sep 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm
            Till Kohli is the captain there is hope foe youngsters and new players who are not in his cozy club. Look at what they have done ro Rishabh Pant , did not give him a single OdI in WI because if he jad scored , Kohli's favorite Dhoni would be under scrutiny for place. Kohli is the most insecure captain in a long time! Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Rishabh Pant are extremely unlucky to be playing in Kohli era.
            1. Load More Comments
            Live Cricket Scores & Results