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Friday, February 4, 2011

Would like to win Cup for Sachin and country, says Virat

NEW DELHI: Talented batsman Virat Kohli feels that it would be the best gift to Sachin Tendulkar if the Indian team can win the cricket World Cup which will start in another two weeks time.

"What he (Sachin) has achieved in his entire career, I don't think anyone else will be able to achieve that. So it will be a great thing if we can win the World Cup not only for our fans but also for Sachin who is a special person," the youngster commented during an interaction with the media at a promotional event here on Thursday.

The U-19 World Cup winning captain feels that the biggest challenge during the cricketing extravaganza will be to keep the external pressures not affect their game.

"Playing World Cup in itself is a huge pressure. There will be people who would expect us to do well. The biggest challenge will therefore be not to get distracted by that and concentrate at the job on hand," the 22-year-old Kohli said.

The player who has four centuries from 45 ODIs and enjoys a fantastic average of around 47 said he just tries to keep things simple.

"I just try to play according to my strength and not do anything special. With experience of having played international cricket for the past two years, I have learnt that if one tries too hard for something special, one might just spoil the ability to do things that come naturally.

"It's hard not to make mistakes but with time you learn from them and the key to success is not repeating the same mistakes over and over again."

Kohli dismissed the notion that injury management has been a problem with Indian players of late as the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Praveen Kumar have all been injured in the lead up to the World Cup.

"No player likes to get injured. But when you are playing so much of cricket, the body tends to get tired and thus injuries happen. You may be the fittest guy around but suddenly you can twist an ankle and be out of action for six months.

But Kohli admitted that the injuries happening to key players ahead of the showpiece event is unfortunate.

"It is definitely a bad time to get injured. No one gets injured intentionally and this is unfortunate that some of our players have sustained injuries."

Asked about the teams which can do well, Kohli named South Africa, Australia and England as the three sides to watch out for in the competition.

When a scribe asked whether India would like to face Australia or Kenya in the final, the cocky youngster replied, "We would like to play in finals. Any opposition is fine with us."

Talking about the ODI series in South Africa where he was the only other player apart from Yusuf Pathan to score two half centuries, the player said, "I am lucky that I have been able to pull it off pretty well. The bouncy South African pitches suit my style of play. I like to play a lot upright and the ball came on nicely to the bat. Also when you have the confidence to attack the quicks, it helps."

That he is confident can be gauged from the fact that he felt that he could have pulled off the ODI against South Africa in Port Elizabeth where he was unbeaten on 87 as India lost due to Duckworth-Lewis method.

"I don't know but whenever I played under lights, I felt even more confident. I play well under lights. I was talking to Harbhajan Singh during our partnership I felt I could have pulled it off."

Although his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is sceptical about the use of Umpires' Decision Review System (UDRS), Kohli said it hardly makes any difference.

"I don't think too much about these things. All I know is that if opposition has three referrals, it's same for us."

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