New Delhi: India's star batsman Virat Kohli says he has not batted better than the last two months but stopped short of calling the ongoing phenomenal phase as the peak of his career.
Virat Kohli. Pic/PTI
"I don't know if if I have reached my peak yet. It just feels that I have just started in the last couple of months. Coaches including in IPL ask me regularly whether I have hit peak or not. All I can say is that I have been hitting the ball better than I have ever but I know this phase can't be taken for granted," said Kohli.
Kohli's breathtaking run began with the World T20 and he has carried it well and truly into the IPL, where he has scored a record three centuries and has become the highest run-getter in a season.
"I would like to enjoy this phase rather than think about anything else. I have never been this calm in my head. I am aiming for improvement not just as a cricketer but also as a person."
In an interview to India Today, Kohli also gave an interesting insight to his state of mind before he takes the field in every game. "I check my heart-rate just before I take the field. I try to calm myself down if the heart is beating too fast as I feel I won't be able to give my best that way. After that I just to look to start my innings and explore," he said.
How does he manage to maintain his intensity on the field after scoring tons of runs for his team? "I respect the sport. Be it any match, I know I have to give my 120 percent. It is probably because the struggles of the past remain fresh in my mind and that is why I don't take anything for granted. Playing this sport is all I know," said the champion batsman.
With the form that he is in, comparison with his idol Sachin Tendulkar is also expected. However, Kohli calls the comparison invalid. "It is embarrassing to be honest. It is not fair on him (Tendulkar). He can't be compared to anyone. You are talking about a batsman of a different caliber. I have strengthened my game whereas he was born to achieve all that he has.
I have been playing well for two years while he served the nation with grace for 24 years. He is two levels above anyone else in this generation of batsmen. I am individually inspired by him though I would like to create my own path," said India's Test captain.
He says he never wanted to be average and that is evident from his commitment on the field. Besides scaling new heights with the bat, he has also helped the team by building a fitness culture that was not seen earlier.
"There has been a massive change in my fitness. I started lifting weights during the Sri Lanka tour last year and that has transformed my whole body. Credit goes to Shankar Basu for working with me and the entire team," said Kohli.
What is the way forward for seemingly unstoppable Kohli? "My only aim in life is to grow as a person. You are a cricket professional but the other aspects of life are equally important. I want to be a monk living in a civil world. On the field by the time I finish, I hope I have made a difference to the sport and Indian cricket," he added.