WT20: Can Virat Kohli stand up and deliver against Australia, again?

Australia seems to bring out the best in Virat Kohli. He has been a thorn that the Aussies have still not managed to uproot

Mohali: Australia seems to bring out the best in Virat Kohli. He has been a thorn that the Aussies have still not managed to uproot.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli during a practice session at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Saturday. Pic/AFP

He was in devastating form in the Test series Down Under last year when he amassed a whopping 692 runs in four Tests. During the limited overs tour to Australia earlier this year, Kohli dominated in the five-ODI series with two centuries albeit in a losing cause. Kohli then followed it up with scores of 90 not out, 59 not out and 50 in the clean sweep over Australia in the three-T20Is series.

Whether it his bat doing the talking or his lips, Kohli has always been up for anything that the Aussies plan against him.

Kohli, by his own admission, thrives on big occasions. Today is another big occasion — a knockout match to qualify for the semis.

Virat Kohli

"I’ve always said I tend to thrive in that situation. But you cannot get into with that mindset only while entering the field. You need to be versatile, you need to be able to play within yourself as well. That’s something I’m learning and I’ve been able to do for the past few months. Debate on the field or not.... it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m sure of the plans I take to the middle. If I do get into a debate, if I have to take a certain stand, that doesn’t necessarily put me off my game. If anything, that motivates me more. But it doesn’t mean if I don’t get into a debate I won’t be motivated to win the game for my team.

"That’s something I have come to terms with that not every team will have a go at you. It’s better to plan your innings without that situation and if that situation comes in, you have to take it as more fuel to fire," said Kohli of his mindset when teams have a go at him.

Kohli said it is important to not get carried away while fighting fire with fire. "Australia is a side that we all know is very strong. They play with a lot of passion. I believe in playing the same way. I like the challenge. I always enjoyed playing against Australia. But that doesn’t mean that you end up scoring every game you play. You still have to respect the conditions, the bowlers. You still have to follow your plans. You cannot sit in the dressing room, thinking ‘if it’s Australia I’m going to end up scoring runs’. No. They might be too good on the day. So you have to be very aware of what you are actually doing out there in the middle," said Kohli.

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