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Virat Kohli: As a batsman, I have evolved mentally

Virat Kohli tells mid-day how his poor 2014 tour of England helped him

Dubai: There were two surprises here yesterday: Rain in Dubai, and that is a very rare occurence as the heavens opened up for only the second time this year in the Desert Paradise and the second, a visit by India's Test cricket captain Virat Kohli to the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Virat Kohli. Pic/PTI
Virat Kohli. Pic/PTI

Kohli a co-owner of the UAE Royals, was rooting for his favourite Roger Federer in his clash against Andy Murray in a mouthwatering duel in the concluding match at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. The cricket star spoke to mid-day on various apects.

Excerpts:

Q. Do you feel that the India-Pakistan series will take place?
A. I am in no position to comment as I don't have any information on that particular issue.

Q. Do you want to be ODI captain?
A. I never thought I would be Test captain. It's an opportunity that has come my way and I am looking to fulfill the responsibility to the best of my ability. I have never wanted one particular thing in my career. Whatever comes my way, I react to that.

Q. Ajinkya Rahane has been a revelation in the recent Test series against South Africa. What do you feel about him?
A. He is a wonderful player. In the last two years, he has been the most improved player in our side. Composure-wise, mental strength and technique he is the perfect combination. In the limited overs format, he has improved vastly. I am sure he will be a consistent performer in all three formats.

Q. How has your batting evolved over the past year?
A. After having a lean phase in England (2014) I learnt a lot about my batting on how to stay focused at that level and how to deal with different phases in my particular game. Mentally, I have evolved as a batsman and technically I have had to make a few changes as bowlers around the world are trying to get you out in different ways.

Q. Do you think the recent Test series against SA was too heavily loaded in favour of bowlers?
A. No, I don't think so. I have said this before also, we had the top four scorers and we showed more application than the opposition. It's as simple as that.

Q. Will you be rooting for Federer in the IPTL?
A. Obviously I will root for Roger as he's in our team.

Q. What about your association with the UAE Royals and IPTL?
A. The league is a revelation and when the UAE Royals proposal came along I was delighted and when I heard Roger is in the team I had no second thoughts. I am personally very excited about this format. I saw the Delhi leg and I am sure tonight will also be very exciting tennis.

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