Aggression for me is to win the match at any cost, says Virat Kohli

Aggression for me is to win the match at any cost, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli said the Indian team has never been the one to start "anything" but will stand up for itself if the line is crossed by the opposition.

India tour of Australia 2018
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli during the team’s Australia tour pre-departure press conference at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)

Virat Kohli has made it clear on his definition of aggression with the series against Australia getting underway with a T20I at The Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday (November 21). Coming into it, the chatter has been on the two teams’ history of aggressive tactics and sledging with Kohli one of the players involved in an episode in the past.

Kohli clarified that for him the definition of aggression is that he gives his all for the team and the passion to win. “Aggression for me is the passion to win and winning on every ball for the team. I think people have different meaning if aggression but for me it is to win the match at any cost and giving 120% for the team on each and every delivery. It could be on the field or if I’m sitting outside and applauding someone or batting or running, it could be anything. That, for me, is aggression,” he said in the press conference on Tuesday.

He also said India have never been the one to start “anything” but will stand up for itself if the line is crossed by the opposition. “Aggression depends on how the situation is on field. If the opposition is aggressive towards you then you counter it. India is not a team that starts anything but we always draw a line of self-respect. If that line is crossed we stand up to that,” Kohli said. “Aggression also means that within team how possessive you are to that situation and as a team how much effort you are putting in for each wicket. You can see that in body language, when bowlers bowl and how long they can keep hitting the same area. Batsmen can be aggressive without saying anything.”

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Australian pacer Pate Cummins had earlier refused to buy Kohli’s self-appraisal that he is no longer the one looking for confrontations. India coach Ravi Shastri in his media interaction had said Kohli has matured and would conduct himself in a responsible manner. “He (Kohli) is a professional and he has matured. You saw him four years ago (2014-15) and he has played all round the globe since then and captained the side. And that alone comes with a tag of responsibility which has fit well on his shoulders and he has adjusted extremely well, but he will not take his foot off the gas,” the head coach predicted.

“Similarly, we are taking no prisoners and want to go out and put our best foot forward, focusing on our game rather than focusing outside,” the coach outlined his approach.

The discussion over the approach by both teams has gathered further momentum due to Australia’s win at all costs ideology coming into question and seeing heads roll following the review into the cricketing culture. Ahead of a two month tour, India start as favourites against a weakened Australian side that is missing Steve Smith and David Warner. An appeal to reduce their bans was turned down by Cricket Australia on Tuesday morning. When asked to comment on the decision, Kohli said, “I honestly don’t know exactly what happened before those decisions were taken. Obviously everyone saw what happened but unless I know the details it is not my place to comment on. The decision is made by someone and that is going on in the sidelines. Honestly not my place to give an opinion on.”