Chennai: Virat Kohli is fast approaching the half-way mark of cricket’s Mt. Everest — 100 international centuries.
It’s an enviable record set by Sachin Tendulkar and the way India’s latest ‘run machine’ is slamming centuries at will the landmark doesn’t appear a pipe dream any longer.
Kohli has 47 tons including 30 in ODIs where he is 19 behind Sachin. Does scoring hundred hundreds play on his mind? “No,” said Kohli. “I don’t play for the three-figure mark; maybe that’s why I end up crossing it more time.
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I don’t put myself under pressure to achieve a landmark. For me, what’s most important is to win the match for the team. I don’t mind remaining not out on 98 or 99 as long as I win the game,” he added.
Kohli said achieving numbers are not his motivation in playing cricket for the country. “Whatever time I play, eight, 10 years or 12 years, I will never think of that because it doesn’t come to me naturally. They may make you feel good afterwards, but you can’t be thinking about it and lose the ultimate goal which is to win the game for India,” he added.
The Indian skipper said the team have reached a stage where they have to identify their bowling attack keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind. He hinted that it could possibly be three bowlers and two bowling all-rounders. “A lot of teams are heading that way. You need depth in batting as well as in bowling.
I think those two all-rounders provide that kind of balance to you. That’s why we have someone like Hardik Pandya or Axar Patel in the team. You need to identify at least two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the departments,” he said.
Kohli said it was important for batsmen to evolve and show the willingness to move around the order according to team’s requirements. “For example, I’ve opened in the T20 cricket as well. One should be flexible enough to do that. I think it’s up to the player to get versatile.
However, it takes time. If you see Ajinkya played in the middle order earlier and now we’re backing him at the top of the order,” he added.