Virat Kohli. (Source: Twitter)
Former India captain Virat Kohli said that after 15 years, he still enjoys encounters against top teams or players and the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at home is something that he needs to propel himself to the next level in his game. Following the Asia Cup 2023 from August 30 onwards in Pakistan-Sri Lanka, India’s next big assignment will be the 50-over World Cup at home.
Having won the 2011 edition of the tournament as a 23-year-old, Kohli now heads into the tournament as an undisputed all-time great of the game and lifting some gold in front of home fans yet again will do wonders to his legacy and make him the only Indian player to be a part of 50-over WC winning team twice.
“Any challenge in front of you, you look forward to it. When difficulty comes in front of you get excited. You do not shy away from it. After 15 years I still like encounters, and the World Cup 2023 is one (challenge). It excites me, I need something new to, you know, propel me to another level,” said Kohli during a promotional event in Bengaluru on Monday.
“The pressure is always there. The fans always say they want (the team) to win a cup very badly. I would like to say, not more than me. So, I am 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.
Virat Kohli said, “I know the expectations are there to win the World Cup. The emotions of the people, the excitement, but please know that no one wants to win more than the players”. pic.twitter.com/SnhuES8NEB
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 28, 2023
Virat Kohli has been in prime form this year. In 10 ODIs this year, he has scored 427 runs at an average of 53.37, with two tons and a fifty and a best of 166 against Sri Lanka. In 17 international matches across formats this year in 19 innings, he has scored 984 runs at an average of 54.66 with four centuries and two fifties. His best score is 186 against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
He also had a good IPL 2023. Though his team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) could not reach the playoffs, he scored 639 runs in 14 innings at an average of 53.25, with a strike rate of 139.25 and scored two centuries and six fifties in his 14 innings. He ended the tournament as the fourth-highest run-getter.
Virat Kohli is a modern ODI great and easily one of the g reatest ever too. With 12,898 runs in 275 matches at an average of 57.32, with 46 centuries and 65 fifties, fans wil be expecting Virat’s statistics to see a major uptick in the coming months and he at least touches 13,000-14,000 ODI runs by the time year ends. They will also have their eyes on Virat for breaking the record of most ODI centuries scored by Sachin Tendulkar (49 tons) and become the first-ever player with 50 ODI tons. Solid, tournament-winning performances in the Asia Cup 2023 and World Cup 2023 can establish Virat Kohli as the undisputed greatest in ODIs.
In 26 World Cup matches, Virat has scored 1,030 runs at an average of 46.81 and a strike rate of 86.70, with the best score of 107. He has two centuries and six fifties in the 50-over Cricket World Cup. In the Asia Cup, Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.
The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours, beginning September 6. The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.
Indian Squad for Asia Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.