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Champions Trophy: Why Virat Kohli doesn’t like to play in India

Virat Kohli loves the peace and quiet while touring abroad, but is also mindful not to let the 2014 failures in England to consume him during the ICC Champions Trophy.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 26, 2017 10:45 IST
HT Correspondent
Virat Kohli believes India is ready to give their best at the Champions Trophy 2017
Virat Kohli believes India is ready to give their best at the Champions Trophy 2017(AFP)

Constantly in the glare with fans, media and friends seeking time with him, Virat Kohli loves his solitude, and it is no wonder one of the famous sports personalities in the world likes nothing better than packing his bags for a tour.

It’s not every day that Kohli can roam the streets with no one to bother him, seek an autograph or pose for a photograph. This is why the India cricket captain loves travelling and playing abroad, where he can spend some ‘normal time’.

“There’s so much attention on you back home that I love travelling away and playing in other countries around the world. I totally love just spending some normal time, which I’m not particularly able to do back home,” Kohli told a media conference on Thursday.

England should be a perfect destination, but the last time Virat Kohli travelled to the country with the India team, he was left feeling wretched and lonely.

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On that 2014 tour, India lost the five-Test series 1-3. Struggling against James Anderson and Co in seaming conditions, Virat Kohli mustered a paltry 134 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.4. The poor run continued in the ODIs where he aggregated 54 runs in four innings, averaging 18.

Virat Kohli landed in England on Thursday to play the ICC Champions Trophy from June 1 to 18 – India are in Group B with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

“This was one tour I wasn’t able to do well. And that hurt me personally in a way that I wasn’t able to contribute for the team. That could have been in India as well. But because you want to succeed everywhere you play, it motivates you even further to come back and do well in those places you haven’t done well,” Kohli said.

However, Kohli is determined not to be consumed by thoughts of making amends for those failures in 2014.

“It’s no sort of feeling of vengeance or anything like that. For me it’s a game of cricket. I surely have evolved from then to now, mentally as a player, and my skill as well. I like to take every game the same way regardless of where I play in the world.

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“England obviously brings a lot of challenges as far as batting is concerned and those are challenges that I would certainly love to overcome. Personally for my growth as a batsman, not for anything else, not to prove a point to anyone, but personally for my satisfaction at the end of my career, I would like to feel that, yes, I’ve done well everywhere that I played in the world.”

However, the first thing Kohli wanted to do on landing was to saunter off on the London streets.

However, the 28-year-old decided it would be better to take some rest.

“The first thing I actually felt like when I came was just to go for a walk and have a coffee, but I thought sleep might be better because of the hectic day forward.

“But I love walking by myself, just being by myself, not having people around at all. It’s refreshing in a way. You find out more about yourself, so that provides you with that opportunity plus you get to do what you love; that is play the game.”