Indian skipper Virat Kohli, on the eve of the WTC Final, has downplayed the hype surrounding the one-off contest and asserted that one game across five days, regardless of the result, will not reflect how far India have progressed as a side. Kohli insisted that the WTC Final is ‘just another match’.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has, historically, religiously adhered to the mantra that process trumps results, and his reactions post stinging defeats have suggested the same. Be it post India’s loss in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, or post the Adelaide debacle, Kohli has always maintained that results being decided on the basis of a few minutes will never be reflective of the team’s actual quality.
And now, ahead of the all-important WTC Final, the Indian skipper has reiterated the same. Addressing the press conference ahead of the final, Kohli downplayed the hype surrounding the coveted clash and insisted that a mere five days of action will not be reflective of anything.
“One game over five days. It’s not going to reflect anything and those who understand the game know and also what has gone over the period of last four to five years,” Kohli said on the eve of the big final against the Black Caps.
“If we win, cricket will not stop and if we lose also, cricket won’t stop. We are playing in quest of excellence and understand who we are as a team.”
Many have compared the WTC Final to a World Cup final, purely because there has never been a one-off knockout match in the history of Test cricket, but Kohli dismissed the hype. The Indian skipper termed the WTC Final ‘just another match’ and attested that ‘cricket will go on’ regardless of who ends up winning the final.
“This is just another Test match. All these things (WTC final) look good from the outside. One game can’t become a do-or-die game. It’s a great moment but cricket goes on just like life goes on,” Kohli said, responding with a strong “No” when asked if the WTC Final was the biggest cricketing event of his illustrious career.
“The occasion needs to be enjoyed and no more important than the first Test that we all played as young players trying to rise through the ranks.”
Under Kohli, India are yet to win an ICC Trophy and have often been guilty of under-performing in the big moments. The five-day (potentially six-day) affair in Southampton will undoubtedly be a litmus test, and the Indian skipper stressed the need for his side to keep thing simple.
“We need to have belief in our abilities and keep things simple. It’s a contest between bat and ball,” Kohli said.
Post the conclusion of the press conference, team India announced the starting XI, which had no big surprises.