Kohli: Following a process, runs will come

India captain Virat Kohli on Monday said he will return to the team for the series-deciding third Test against South Africa here as he is "absolutely fit" but ruled out the participation of pacer Mohammed Siraj.

Virat Kohli missed the second Test against South Africa due to an upper back spasm.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli, declaring himself fit for the decider, said he does not see himself with the same lens through which the outside world looks at him.

Kohli said he asked himself the toughest questions, followed a rigorous process and led with passion, aggression and intensity, so that it rubbed off on teammates. “You have to be hungry for success,” he said.

The Indian captain, searching for runs, said, “This is not the first time that I am going through such a phase. It happened to me in England.”

Kohli said he took a lot of pride in playing for and leading India. “I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I am following a process and runs will come.”

Kolhi said the form shown by veterans Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the Indian second innings at the Wanderers gave the team confidence. “In crunch moments, you need experience.”

Asked about transition with Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer waiting in the wings, Kohli said, “Transition cannot be forced on a team. It has to happen naturally.”

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The topic shifted to Rishabh Pant, and Kohli said, “Yes, we had a conversation with him regarding stroke selection during the practice session. He is young, talented and will find a way.”

Kohli said seamer Mohammed Siraj, still recovering from a hamstring strain, will not play the third Test.

He added, “The pace bowling has been driving this team for the last seven years. It is difficult to leave out or pick someone. There is so much depth.”

Queried whether the Indian team missed Ravindra Jadeja on this tour, Kohli replied, “Ash (Ashwin) has been doing a fabulous job ever since the Australia tour with the ball and the bat. Either Ash or Jadeja, both are very good.”  

Deep down Kohli comprehends the significance of the third Test. It’s a winner-takes-all situation.

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