Virat Kohli on his form: I got nothing to prove to anyone

He may be struggling for runs, but India’s fit-again Test captain Virat Kohli is not too concerned about his form ahead of the third and final Test against South Africa, beginning in Cape Town today.

As India eye its first-ever Test series win in South Africa, Kohli, 33, led the visitors to victory in the first match at Centurion by 113 runs, but scored only 35 and 18. He missed the second Test in Johannesburg due to a back spasm, and Indian ended up losing by seven wickets under stand-in captain KL Rahul.   

The Indian cricket team at the picturesque Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town. Pic/BCCI

Kohli has scored 7,854 runs from 98 Tests at an impressive average of 50.34, including 27 hundreds and as many half-centuries. However, he has not yet got the three-figure mark in international cricket since his 136 against Bangladesh at Kolkata Test in 2019.

“I have nothing else to worry about because the reality of the situation is that eventually you want to make an impact performance for the team. And my best effort is always to do that. I don’t think I have anything to prove to anyone,” Kohli said during the pre-match virtual press conference on Monday. 

“If all the time you look at yourself and judge yourself on the basis of numbers and milestones, I don’t think you will ever be content or happy with what you are doing. I take a lot of pride in the process I’m following and I am at peace with how I’m playing and what I have been able to do for the team when there has been a tricky scenario,” he added.

When asked about his current shortage of runs, Kohli claimed he’s no stranger to it. “This is not the first time, this [lack of form] has happened a few times in my career. 

England 2014 [tour] was one of those phases. I do not look at myself from the lens the outside world looks at me with. 

“The standards have been set by myself and are not an occurrence from the outside world. So, more than anyone else, I take a lot of pride in doing the best for the team and wanting to perform for the team regularly,” said Kohli, who has 12,169 ODI runs under his belt from 254 games, in addition to 3,227 from 95 T20Is. He is also the top run-getter in the Indian Premier League, having amassed 6,283 in 207 matches.

“The reality of the situation is we do play a lot of cricket and there is no denying that. As much as I take pride in being fit at all times, but you do obviously take a lot of things for granted as well,” said Kohli, going on to rule out Mohammed Siraj from today’s match, saying that the pacer hasn’t fully recovered from his hamstring injury.

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