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Virat Kohli

'In this team, anyone can say anything to anyone' – Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has opened up about India's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign and the example he and his team-mates want to be.

Kohli is arguably the most consistent cricketer going around and is set to break all sorts of records. During the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, he became the fastest batsman to 20,000 international runs, getting there quicker than greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Kohli is also tipped to break Tendulkar’s record ODI century tally (49 in 452 innings), given he’s already on 41 off just 228 innings.

However, there is a lot of work that goes behind reaching these lofty heights, and Kohli has spoken of just how "boring" it can be. “There's no option but to get up again and work hard, do the same things over and over again,” he told Times of India. “Consistency and success is nothing but repeating the same things day in and day out. It's actually boring. Consistency is boring. It's very tough.”

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It is, Kohli said, the only way to thrive under pressure. “For example, look at how people practice one shot in golf,” he said. “They keep doing it, even though they may be US Open champions. They will keep doing it, over and over again, because they know that is the only thing they can bank on under pressure.”

Kohli will turn 31 in a few months, and is among the senior statesmen in the side. It comes with the responsibility of guiding the youth, but "the culture of scolding” is not a part of the Indian dressing room. Instead, Kohli, and anyone else, can walk up to a team-mate and have an open conversation, the captain claimed.

“The atmosphere is such that anyone can say anything to anyone,” he said. “I am like walking up to people and telling them, ‘listen, I have committed these mistakes, make sure you don't do them'.

“Your career improves by two-three years. I believe in empowering people. I believe in giving them space to express themselves, and when they come to a stage when they feel jumbled, then I'll have a conversation. I'll talk to them – 'this is where you are heading, and this is where you have to head.’”

Kohli is finding India’s World Cup failure “very difficult to digest because you know you didn’t make many mistakes to be knocked out” but says they were “outplayed” in the semi-final against New Zealand, and is now looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship.

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Virat Kohli bats for Cricket4Good

“It's very exciting,” he said. “It's happening at the right time for Test cricket. Although you are going to play bilateral series, the meaning and importance are way more. You have to plan for every series. I was excited about something of this sort, and now it's coming to life.”

Kohli will next lead India in the Caribbean in three ODIs, three T20Is and two Tests from 3 August to 3 September.

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