Virat Kohli: Difficult situations still excite me after 15 years of international cricket

The former India captain acknowledged the pressure of the upcoming World Cup at home but said he is not one to shy away from a challenge.

Published : Aug 28, 2023 21:06 IST , BENGALURU - 3 MINS READ

Virat Kohli during a promotional event in Bengaluru on Monday.
Virat Kohli during a promotional event in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: PTI

Virat Kohli during a promotional event in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: PTI

Virat Kohli has mastered several obstacles during his illustrious career but the former Indian skipper on Monday said the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 presents him with an exciting new challenge, something he still relishes after a decade and half of top flight cricket.

The 13th edition of the quadrennial tournament will be played in India across October and November, and Kohli said he is gearing up for the challenge of playing a World Cup at home.

“Any challenge in front of you, you look forward to it. When difficulty comes in front of you get excited. You don’t shy away from it. After 15 years I still like encounters, and the World Cup 2023 is one (such challenge). It excites me, I need something new to, you know, propel me to another level,”said Kohli during a promotional event here.

Kohli did not deny that there is pressure of expectations on him and the team but reminded everyone that no one wants to win the World Cup more than the players themselves.

“The pressure is always there. The fans always say we want (the team) to win a cup very badly. I’d like to say not more than me. So, I’m in the right place. Honestly, I know the expectations are there and the emotions of the people are there. But please know that no one wants to win more than players,” he said.

Kohli, though, is no stranger to winning a World Cup. He had led India to the ICC U-19 World Cup victory back in 2008 and he was also part of the M.S. Dhoni-led India side that triumphed in 2011 at home.

“My career highlight ïs obviously winning the World Cup in 2011. I was 23 at the time, and I probably didn’t understand the magnitude of it. But now at 34, and has played many World Cups, which we haven’t been able to win, So, I understand the emotions of all the senior players (in 2011).

“All the more for Sachin Tendulkar, as it was his last World Cup. He had already played many World Cups by then and to win it in Mumbai, his hometown, was very special for him. I mean, it was stuff from dreams,” said Kohli.

Kohli also remembered the pressure piled on players ahead and during the 2011 World Cup.

“I remember the amount of pressure there was on all the players when we were travelling, Thankfully, there was no social media back then. It would have been a nightmare, honestly. But through the airports, it was always just one thing — we need to win the Cup,” he said.

“The senior players were always under the pump and to handle all that pressure. It was just brilliant. And that night (after the WC win) in itself was something magical,” he added.

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