Sta India batter Virat Kohli is all set for the upcoming ODI World Cup challenge. The tournament this year will be hosted in India. It will kick off on October 5 with the final match taking place on November 19. While admitting that pressure will be there during the mega event, Kohli said that not only the fans but the Indian cricket team also wants to win the World Cup “very badly”. Kohli, who has played for India at the highest level for 15 years now, added that he loves challenges.
“Any challenge in front of you, you look forward to it. When difficulty comes in front of you get excited. You don’t shy away from it. After 15 years I still like encounters, and the World Cup 2023 is one (challenge). It excites me, I need something new to, you know, propel me to another level,” said Kohli during a promotional event in Bengaluru as quoted by PTI.
“The pressure is always there. The fans always say we want (the team) to win a cup very badly. I’d like to say not more than me. So, I’m in the right place. Honestly, I know the expectations are there and the emotions of the people are there. But please know that no one wants to win more than players,” he said.
Kohli, though, is no stranger to winning a World Cup. He had led India to the ICC U-19 World Cup victory back in 2008 and he was also part of the MS Dhoni-led India side that triumphed in the 2011 50-over World Cup at home.
“My career highlight is obviously winning the World Cup in 2011. I was 23 at the time, and I probably didn’t understand the magnitude of it. But now at 34, and has played many World Cups, which we haven’t been able to win, So,I understand the emotions of all the senior players (in 2011).
“All the more for Sachin Tendulkar, as it was his last World Cup. He had already played many World Cups by then and to win it in Mumbai, his hometown, was very special for him. I mean, it was stuff from dreams,” said Kohli.
Kohli also remembered the pressure piled on players ahead and during the 2011 World Cup.
“I remember the amount of pressure there was on all the players when we were travelling, Thankfully, there was no social media back then. It would have been a nightmare, honestly. But through the airports, it was always just one thing — we need to win the Cup,” he said.
“The senior players were always under the pump and to handle all that pressure. It was just brilliant. And that night (after the WC win) in itself was something magical,” he added.
(With PTI Inputs)
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