Armed with a victory, India skipper Virat Kohli took a dig at the journalists as his bitter-sweet relationship with the Indian media in South Africa continued. Kohli had been at the receiving end of criticism during the Test series when a few of his selections were questioned as India lost the first two Tests before coming back to win the final Test and now this ODI series. (IND vs SA 6th ODI HIGHLIGHTS)
Asked if the ODI series win was his biggest victory on foreign soil, Virat Kohli snapped, saying, “It is something you people can tell because till a month back we were a very bad team. Now such questions are being asked. We have not changed our mindset, we were focussing only on our cricket and I don’t want to flow in this – whether this is the biggest win or not. Our job is to play, work hard and perform, try to win every match.
“Whether this is the biggest win or not, whoever is going to analyse and write, he will. For us as a team, there is only one motive – give 120% effort, work hard in practice and on every day of the tour keep our mindset good and keep our preparation at a level where we can win. And that is what we have achieved in this series and we are very happy about it. Our jobs is not (to) get any tags or create headlines, our job is to play cricket and that is what we have done perfectly in this series.”
When an Indian journalist asked him his opinion on Friday’s innings, praising him by saying that he could run short of words, Virat Kohli responded, “Look, I am not going to give in to this. I know for a fact that 90% of the people did not give us a chance after the two Tests. I was sitting in the same room giving a press conference. So we understand where we have come from. I am not going to live in a dreamland right now and accept all the praise and sit here and feel good about this, because it does not matter to me, honestly it doesn’t. It didn’t matter when we were 2-0 down and it doesn’t matter when we are 5-1 up because what matters is the change room.
“What management thinks about me, what I think about the players, what the players think about me. These things do not matter. The headlines change day in and day out. Tomorrow if I play a bad shot, everyone will conveniently do what they want to do. So as I said it is not my job to say anything about what I do. If I make a mistake, I will come here and accept it. I have never been one to give excuses. I am never one to come here and praise myself. I can never do that. This is a job for me, I am not doing anyone a favour. I am representing my country. It is an honour for me. I am stepping out to do my job.”
Virat Kohli, though acknowledging that there are areas that need improvement, refused to divulge them, saying it is for him and the team management to decide. Here is what he said on other issues after the end of the final ODI:
On not experimenting even on winning the series
There is only one guy whose place we wanted to experiment with – Bhuvneshwar, because his workload was immense. Bumrah is a world class bowler in this format. Dropping Bumrah is like dropping Shikhar Dhawan or Rohit Sharma. No one will speak about those things, it is very easy to drop the bowlers. Bhuvi’s workload was massive, the two wrist-spinners deserved to play all the games because of the way they’ve bowled they’ve been one factor that has been in the mind of the opposition throughout.
So we decided that giving rest to Bhuvi was the ideal situation. Also we want to strengthen our middle order so giving them as many chances as possible was also important. Another chance to Iyer and to (Shreyas) Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane). It is very important to understand that one knock can make a difference in someone’s career. So we gave them one extra opportunity. Bhuvi was feeling up in his body and hence the change. We didn’t feel like we wanted to change something else.