Virat Kohli celebrates hitting the winning runs as he and Sureish Raina took his team to victory over Sri Lanka in their one day international cricket match in Hobart, Australia. AP/Chris Crerar
In the form of his life but young Indian batsman Virat Kohli said he felt under pressure in the crunch Asia Cup game against arch-rivals Pakistan but having learnt to value his wicket he managed to deliver a match-winning 183-run knock.
"It would be wrong if I say there was no pressure. I didn't play well against Pakistan the last 2-3 times. I was disappointed, so wanted to do well. It is always a high pressure game against Pakistan and all eyes are on this match," Kohli said after India chased down a mammoth 330 on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of reaching the final.
Kohli had scored an unbeaten 133 against Sri Lanka in Hobart when India chased 321 with 80 balls to spare in the tri-series in February but the young batsman said the knock last night was more special.
"I will rate it with Hobart, not equal but sort of more special because of the sort of game we were playing. It was a special game for us against a good opposition," Kohli told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Kohli's scores in his last four innings, including that of last night, read 183, 66, 108 133.
"Batting at number three is an important position and I value my wicket more now because if I get set a good platform, I will be able to cover up, and that has been my strength and I will stick to that," he added.
Asked if getting a double century played on his mind, Kohli said, "For a brief period it did come to my mind but I told myself that I was thinking something else and I decided to get back to the game and tried to look at the ball and hit it."
Kohli scored his 11th century but the 23-year-old said he didn't have any recipe for success.
"There is no recipe, I give myself the best chance every time I go out there, I try to stay till the end, that's my only aim and it is working for me. There is no special recipe, everyone wants to go out and score runs.
"I was able to go that extra mile today because I wasn't getting big hundreds and getting out at 40th or 42nd over. So I decided to apply myself more today as it was an important game for us," he said.
Kohli stitched two important partnerships -- first of 133 runs with Sachin Tendulkar and then a 172-run stand with Rohit Sharma -- and the middle-order batsman said the idea was to put pressure on the opposition by keeping wickets till the end of the match.
"We lost a wicket in the second ball, so we planned to build a big partnership. Chasing any total over 300, 320 or 330 if you have wickets in hand then opposition gets something to think over. So we wanted to put pressure and be in the game. That was the plan and we executed that perfectly, once we decided to go for the run in the end, we had seven wickets in hand," he said.
"We wanted to take the game till the end, so we played cautiously the strike bowlers as we know the ball comes really nice on to the bat while chasing, we kept that in mind," he added.