Great opportunity for us to do something that has never been done in Indian cricket: Virat Kohli
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has said that this World Cup presents an excellent opportunity for his team to do something no other Indian team has done before in the history of the game, which is to win back-to-back World Cups. The MS Dhoni led team is on a 7-match winning streak, having won all the 6 group stage matches to top Pool B and then defeating Bangladesh in their quarter-final encounter to book a semi-final clash against Australia at the SCG on March 26.
In an interview to BCCI.TV, Kohli said: “This World Cup is a great opportunity for us to do something that has never been done in Indian cricket, which is to win it back to back. Especially in conditions away from home, not many people gave us a chance to even qualify. But we have won seven games in a row. People are looking at us as favorites now.
“The experience has been wonderful so far and if we end up winning it on that day, it will be a memory to cherish all my life.”
‘World Cup 2011 win was special’
Reflecting on the historic 2011 World Cup triumph back at home, Kohli said: “I gained a lot of confidence from that World Cup. In my very first World Cup, I was part of the triumphant squad, and I was a World Champion already at the age of 22. It gave me confidence from the fact that we had achieved something special.
“When we ended up winning, it was a very special memory. I couldn’t really connect with the kind of emotion that all the other senior players had because they hadn’t won it for so long. To see all that emotion come out, I really understood the importance of a cricket World Cup.”
‘I broke down after Dhoni’s retirement’
Kohli was named as the Indian Test captain during the recently concluded 4-match Test series against Australia in Australia following Dhoni’s retirement from the format midway through the series.
The 26-year-old, admitting that he never saw the decision coming from Dhoni, said: “I never thought MS Dhoni would retire this early from Test cricket and especially not in between the series for sure. That came as a shock and it was indeed a very emotional day for me. I came back to the hotel and I just broke down in my room. It was a pretty sad moment watching a leader who groomed all of us over the last few years, not playing Test cricket anymore.”
‘Learning the captaincy trade from Dhoni’
Kohli also said that he has started observing how Dhoni goes about captaincy during matches to learn the tricks of the trade. He said: “I have been vice-captain for the ODI side and I would always keep giving inputs to MS about the things that I felt he could use. Now, in recent times knowing the fact that I probably will have to lead the side in the ODIs as well in the future at some point of time, I see more of how Dhoni changes his bowlers, at what stages and situations of the game.
“I notice when he brings the spinners on, figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of the batsmen, the wicket condition and the field placement etc. That is something that I have started learning a lot more in recent times.”