India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday responded to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him for not winning a single Indian Premier League title so far. On the eve of IPL 2019 opening match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli said that he did not care if he was judged for not being able to win the IPL till now.
Kohli said he would be sitting at home if he thought like “people from outside.” “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen,” he said.
“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.
Gambhir had said Kohli was lucky he has not been sacked as captain by RCB despite never leading the team to the title. Gambhir, who joined BJP on Friday, also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too have three IPL titles to his credit.
“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.
“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semifinals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.
Ahead of the clash against Dhoni’s CSK on Saturday, Kohli spoke on the strong support that the hosts enjoy. “MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top. It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”
Speaking on RCB’s focus of the year, Kohli said, “It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job. In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side.”
Skipping IPL matches
The Indian captain also made it clear that he may well sit out for a few matches in the tournament to avoid burnout.
Addressing the issue Kohli said,“Yes.. that’s a big possibility. Why not?”
“It’s a personal responsibility. It is up to the players to give information on any niggle to the concerned people as soon as possible and work as per plan,” he said.
“We have told the players to be smart about how they feel on a particular day and then reporting to the physios. If he’s told not to play, then he has to respect that,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I am very motivated to start tomorrow personally.. I don’t know how competitive or how relaxed Indian players are going to be during the IPL. Every professional knows how to maintain a ,balance. Eventually you are playing for a franchise and they have trusted you to do a job for them,” he added.
“Till the time you play, you have to give 120 per cent. when you don’t play, you don’t. I don’t believe in playing 75-80 per cent. That’s the mindset I carry. I am sure the guys are going to be smart about it. They are going to choose wisely through the tournament. It is not forced on them. They said we are going to be careful,” he further added.