Virat Kohli prepared to deal with home pressure at ICC World Twenty20
Virat Kohli was one of the youngest members in the Indian unit when the team lifted the 2011 Cricket World Cup at home. The star batsman struck 282 runs from nine matches and even played a crucial knock in the final against Sri Lanka.Kohli has come a long way since the 2011 edition and has gone on to become one of the best batsmen across all-formats of the game. Not trying to tinker his game to suit the T20 format, Kohli has been scoring heaps of runs in the shortest version of the game. He has scored 352 runs at a strike-rate of 134 in eight T20I matches in 2016, hitting four half-centuries and averaging 117.33. (Also read: In-form India poised to break T20I jinx against New Zealand in tournament opener)The Delhi batsman’s form will be crucial to India’s chances of lifting their second World T20 title.Kohli revealed that he was not under a lot of pressure when India played the 2011 World Cup at home. However, he expects things to be different this time. “As a youngster, I didn’t feel much pressure as I was finding my feet and trying to contribute as much as I can. But I saw the senior players, the way people expected things out of them. Everywhere they would get suggestions, advice. It’s very important to soak all of that in. (World T20: David Warner wary of aggressive Virat Kohli)”At home we expect that, we are sort of prepared for that. You have to manage yourself off the field in home conditions,” Kohli said at the press conference on the eve of India’s opening game against New Zealand. (World T20: India favourites to repeat 2011 success at home, says Tendulkar) advertisementKohli also stressed on the importance of not getting too desperate to spend more time in the middle in T20 matches. “A cameo at the end of the innings can make a big difference in this format. It’s very easy to get desperate and disappointed when you don’t get enough balls to bat. It’s important to contribute as much as you can for the team,” he said.Kohli was happy that the middle-order batsmen got the opportunity to bat long during India’s warm-up matches against West Indies and Sri Lanka. “With the warm-up games, the middle-order got the much required time in the middle. MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh almost won it for us against South Africa. A couple of strokes is what you need in T20 format to change you mindset,” he said. That sound from his bat – #TeamIndia Captain @msdhoni knocking ahead of the net session #WT20https://t.co/71OHZ67iUt BCCI (@BCCI) March 14, 2016Kohli said India that team is looking well-settled ahead of the big tournament.”We are pretty confident with the way we have been playing. Asia Cup campaign was good. We have won 10 out of our last 11 games. We are taking some good momentum into the tournament,” he said.However, Kohli said it was important to be wary of the opposition’s strength and to be calm in big tournaments.”You have stay calm in big tournaments. There can be focus shifting when we watch other teams play during our rest days. So it’s important to not get carried away by what’s happening around us. “World T20 is going to be far more challenging. The teams are evenly matched in both the groups. We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We will look continue what we have done successfully in the past,” he said.Kohli said the top-order batsmen are looking to continue their good run in the World T20 tournament.Rohit and Kohli have been in tremendous touch and Shikhar Dhawan, who was struggling, seems to have found his form in the warm-up games.”Shikhar himself has mentioned that his role is pretty clear to go out and play his natural game, try and take on the fielding restrictions. Rohit and I assess the situation and play accordingly. We have been trying to see how our partner is playing and decide whether to dominate or not. “It’s very important to stay aware in T20 game. All three of us have been able to do that well in the past few series. It’s our responsibility to keep the momentum going.” he said.Kohli also said it was good have Mohammed Shami back in the team. Shami picked up three wickets against West Indies in the first warm-up and backed it up with a good show against South Africa. Kohli though said he would not risk changing the winning composition to accommodate the Kolkata pacer in the playing XI.advertisement”He has done really well for us. We were waiting for him to come back and find his rhythm. He’s bowled well in the warm-up games. “It’s very difficult to change a winning composition. Different conditions require different sort of combinations. It’s up to the captain and the management to sit down and decide,” Kohli said.