Virat Kohli: 'I don't play for people, perceptions or reputations'

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has said that despite India's loss, it has been a competitive series.

Kohli has been in phenomenal form in the Test series, scoring 544 runs from the four Tests so far.   -  AFP

With the Test series already out of their hands, the Indians will give it all to salvage some pride by winning the fifth and final Test at The Oval. Skipper Virat Kohli feels that despite his side's loss, it has been a competitive series.

“It is a competitive series, to begin with. We have already understood and admitted the things we haven’t done well. That is something where we have come to improve on — to get into competitive positions. You understand that you have the ability, but ability only gets you to a certain extent, and then, your mental toughness comes into play when you want to win a Test series in difficult conditions and difficult countries, something we aspire to do," said Kohli in an interview with Michael Holding for Sky Sports.

"And, when you don't do that from winning positions, it hurts more than any other thing. And for us, as a team, that has been the most frustrating part. We have shown our skill sets to get into those positions and we haven't capitalised on them,” he added.

READ: Injured or not? Ashwin’s omission not clear

When asked how he deals with all the pressure to make runs across the world, Kohli replied, “I am focused on having a very solid life and being happy with life and doing the right thing on a daily basis. Then, everything feels like an enjoyable journey and part of the larger picture.”

“I don't play for people, perceptions or reputations. I only play for the team to win. I didn't start to play for numbers. People will only remember your attitude and what you brought to the field. Nobody talks about Sir Viv Richards’ average, they talk about his attitude and the charisma he brought to the field, how he inspired people. I see this as a greater responsibility to be put in the position I am by that power, to inspire people. For that, I need to do the right thing from morning till night.”

Kohli has been in phenomenal form in the Test series, scoring 544 runs from the four Tests so far. However, on being asked that if he could have done something better in the series, Kohli replied, “I am thinking about two things — the second innings in Birmingham and the first innings in Southampton. I am not thinking about the number of runs I have scored, because, as I said, numbers don't matter to me.”

ALSO READ: Gavaskar puts Shastri's defence of team under spotlight

“I always think about my mistakes and how I can improve on them. I am always willing to accept my mistakes even in the best of times.”

The Indian pacers have done a great job this series, claiming wickets consistently while being economical. Speaking on the context, Kohli said, “It is the hard work of the individuals. These guys want to be the best bowlers in the world and that is what I am proud to see as a captain.

“When you see them running in, bowling in partnerships, bowling for each other, it is a beautiful feeling. You are not trying to outdo anyone but only trying to take 10 wickets for your team. They have worked on their fitness, strength and are honest about their preparations. So, the main focus is to take 10 wickets. They believe that they can take 20 wickets in a game and that is what matters,” he concluded.