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India will not let focus wane despite series loss: Virat Kohli ahead of 3rd Test vs South Africa

Virat Kohli has lost a Test series after 35 matches at the helm of the national side, but the setback is another learning experience insists the Indian cricket team skipper ahead of the 3rd Test vs South Africa cricket team at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

cricket Updated: Jan 23, 2018 23:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
South Africa vs India,SA vs IND,Indian cricket team
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli (left) chats with coach Ravi Shastri during the nets session at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, ahead of their 3rd and final Test against South Africa cricket team.(AP)

Virat Kohli tasted a series defeat after a long stint as full-time Indian cricket team captain -- in his 35th Test at the helm to be exact. It won’t be easy to swallow this loss but Kohli describes it as a learning process that can make him a better captain.

“Well every game is a learning whether you win or lose. The only thing that you learn is, you can go out and try to do things that have happened in the past, try and not make those errors and that’s probably the only thing that you take forward as a captain and as an individual also. That’s how you progress and become determined at this level. So, it’s nothing different,” said Kohli ahead of the third Test in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“I have been learning every day. It’s not like you stop learning at any stage; when you win you learn as well, added Kohli.

“So, we focus at the things that haven’t gone our way, try to rectify those and keep the positives in our head at the same time. As a captain as well, you want to proudly do better in situations when the game has gone away from you. So, I have thought about those things as well – how you can still keep the pressure on and not let the game slip away in very quick time. I always keep thinking about my game, how I can learn as a captain and get better in every aspect of what I do. I never stop learning,” reiterated Kohli.

From being fast tracked into the side after helping India win the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, Kohli has gone on to become one of the most accomplished batsmen of all time who first led his franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), before taking over the reins in Tests from MS Dhoni and finally becoming captain in all formats.

The scope of his responsibilities has become considerably wider but Kohli isn’t shying away from it.

“If I didn’t learn from the early days of my career, I wouldn’t be here. Look, responsibility can become less or more according to the phases,” said Kohli.

“It’s all about hanging in there and accepting all the phases that are coming your way. Sometimes the team is playing so beautifully, you don’t need to do anything you feel so relaxed,” he added. “So even this is a part of it. I have to take it in my stride and go forward. And not sit here and say ‘this is a lot of burden’. That’s not the right attitude. I’m willing to go through any kind of phase, I have gone through bad phases in my career. Ups and downs are a part of a sportsman’s career and I understand that.”

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 20:43 IST