New Delhi: Talented batsman Virat Kohli feels that the biggest challenge India will face during the forthcoming Cricket World Cup will be to ensure that external pressure does not affect their game.
“Playing World Cup in itself is a huge pressure. There will be people who would expect us to do well. The biggest challenge will therefore be not to get distracted by that and concentrate at the job on hand,” Kohli said at a media interaction here.
He dismissed the notion that injury management has been a problem with Indian players of late as the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Praveen Kumar have all been injured leading up to the World Cup starting February 19.
“No player likes to get injured. When you are playing so much of cricket, the body tends to get tired and thus injuries happen. You may be the fittest guy around but suddenly you can twist an ankle and be out of action for six months,” he said.
“It is definitely a bad time to get injured. No one gets injured intentionally and this is unfortunate that some of our players have sustained injuries,” he added.
Kohli said it would be the best gift to Sachin Tendulkar if the Indian team wins the World Cup.
“What he (Sachin) has achieved in his entire career, I don’t think anyone else will be able to achieve that. So it will be a great thing if we can win the World Cup not only for our fans but also for Sachin who is a special person,” said the 22-year-old batsman.
Kohli, who has four centuries from 45 ODIs at an average of around 47, said he just tries to keep things simple.
“I just try to play according to my strength and not do anything special. With the experience of having played international cricket for the past two years, I have learnt that if one tries too hard for something special, one might just spoil the ability to do things that come naturally.”
“It’s hard not to make mistakes but with time you learn from them and the key to success is not repeating the same mistakes over and over again.”
Asked which teams would do well in the World Cup, Kohli named South Africa, Australia and England as the three sides to watch out for in the competition.
Talking about the ODI series in South Africa where he was the only other player apart from Yusuf Pathan to score two half centuries, Kohli said, “I am lucky that I have been able to pull it off pretty well. The bouncy South African pitches suit my style of play. I like to play a lot upright and the ball came on nicely to the bat.”
Although his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is skeptical about the use of Umpires’ Decision Review System (UDRS), Kohli said it hardly makes any difference.
“I don’t think too much about these things. All I know is that if opposition has three referrals, it’s same for us.”