Virat Kohli says his poor form in the ongoing Indian Premier League is teaching him how to mature in cricket. The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain has scored all of 154 runs in 10 IPL matches, way below his amazing standards. Kohli has acknowledged his poor run and says he is just one good innings away from regaining the form he is usually known for.
Speaking in Bangalore after Yuvraj Singh scripted RCB's 16-run win against Delhi Daredevils at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Kohli looked relaxed and unlike his IPL batting, more in control of himself. He even found time for some 'dry' humour to explain his mode of dismissals in the tournament so far.
"I have got out in every possible way in this IPL...the only thing left is hit-wicket," Kohli joked. On Tuesday against Delhi Daredevils, Kohli was run out after scoring 10 off 11 deliveries.
"All this is a phase of cricket and part of the game. I have got to be mature enough to understand that. People are going to pull me down where they put me up during the World Cup.
"It's fine...I mean it's frustrating when the team doesn't get the right results. I am not so worried about my performance. If the team keeps winning, I am happy," said Kohli. (Kohli slams critics who wrote Yuvraj off)
Kohli has always set his own benchmark. He has been a revelation in all forms of cricket and expectations around him are naturally high. Last season, Kohli was among the top scorers. So far, the Indian vice-captain has been a flop show with three zeroes.
"I was captain last year I scored 680 runs. That's not the pressure I am taking. I was playing pretty well after the World Cup and I am still hitting the ball well. I always wanted to lead from the front and when things don't go your way, you try a bit too hard.
"I is better to accept things the way they are going rather than get frustrated. This harms you even more and I have realized that. I am learning to take this in my stride. As long as team wins, I am not worried about how much I am scoring," Kohli said. (Related: Captaincy could be burden, says Ganguly)
Kohli said his decision to open the innings was an experiment. He feels that opening the innings in limited overs cricket should not be made a big issue.
"I have opened for India in T20 cricket. If someone gets out in the first over, you are more or less an opener. For me it's watching the ball and reacting to it and that is exactly what I do at No. 3 as well. It doesn't matter if I come in the first or 10th over," Kohli explained. (Match in pics)
Saying he was one innings away from striking a good patch, Kohli said: "I am someone who always believes in my abilities, so I need just one good game. It's not a drought that I am going through. In a tournament like IPL, it's very hard to come out of a zone you have been into. I have to be mature enough to take this in my stride."