Kohli: ‘I never play for redemption, the aim is to win’

“The atmosphere around us is built like life and death, especially for cricketers from the sub-continent. We do well in India, there is no hype around it. We don't do well overseas, it's like a knife hanging over your head,” Kohli said.

Virat Kohli denied he was looking at the Champions Trophy as a tour to redeem himself   -  V.V. Krishnan

Despite missing the last Test against Australia and the initial phase of the Indian Premier League owing to a shoulder injury, Virat Kohli was on a high when he joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp. However, halfway into the tournament, Kohli's team was virtually out of contention for a place in the top four.

Though he not fare badly as a batsman, Kohli at times appeared hapless as the star-studded Challengers succumbed to multiple defeats, even recording the lowest total in the IPL history. Having tasted success all the way through India's prolonged home season, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Kohli. The man resorted to philosophical approach while dealing with the phase.

“It was so bizarre everything that we tried was going against us. Never experienced that in a side. Not just 11 but all 15 in the squad were all in the same mindset. It was bizarre and may be it was to teach me to balance things out and take a step back, think about how much you can do on the field and how much intensity with which you can play,” Kohli said, reflecting on the things he learnt from the IPL campaign ahead of India's departure for the Champions Trophy.

“As I keep getting older those things are important and you need to avoid burnout too quickly. Those were the biggest learnings for me. I was pretty fortunate that I got to experience such a time. It teaches you a lot as captain, it teaches you a lot, composure-wise. You take a lot away from failures which is what I have always cherished.”

Redemption? What's that!

Kohli, incidentally, will return to England for the first time after his disastrous outing there three years ago. In five Test matches in 2014, Kohli's technique was exposed as he tallied 134 runs in 10 innings with a highest score of 39 to show for his efforts. He couldn’t turn the tide in the ODI series that followed, scoring 54 runs in four innings and failing to score a fifty.

But Kohli flatly denied he was looking at the Champions Trophy as a tour to redeem himself. “The atmosphere around us is built like life and death, especially for cricketers from the sub-continent. We do well in India, there is no hype around it. We don't do well overseas, it's like a knife hanging over your head,” he said.

“I would never play for redemption, my only motivation is to keep winning games for my country and doesn’t matter the conditions I am playing in, it might be in sub-continent, it might be England, Australia, South Africa, the aim always is to win games and I am willing to do whatever I can to be able to achieve that for the team.”

“The only motivation is to play well for your country. It does not matter where you play, the aim is to win matches. People might say it is a question of life and death or redemption, but it's not the case for me. It's just like any other tournament.”

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