This is a learning experience for me: Kohli

Ups and downs are a part of a sportsman's career, says skipper
Last Updated 23 January 2018, 16:14 IST

Ever since Virat Kohli was elevated as the full-time captain, he had enjoyed unprecedented success. Up until South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing series, he had gone unbeaten in 10 series while winning nine of them, stretching from the one-off drawn Test against Bangladesh in July 2015.  

Of course, the wins either came at home or in conditions that hardly challenged them but still it was a creditable performance by Kohli and company who, except Australia, faced little problem in taming their opponents. South Africa were always going to test their true mettle and they have flunked it. While India's bowling has been impressive, they have been good only in patches with the bat, making a difference between winning and losing.

The defeat is a new experience for Kohli the captain and he has handled it with mixed emotions. While he has been candid enough in accepting team's shortcomings, he has also allowed the anger to get the better of him whenever he has found the questions too uncomfortable to answer, especially on his choice of playing XIs.

"Everyday is a learning phase for me," said Kohli here on Tuesday, the eve of the third Test, when asked how is he coping with himself since his areas of responsibilities have broadened. "If I didn't learn from the early days of my career, I wouldn't be here. So, it's always an ongoing process of learning everyday, learning from your mistakes, correcting those mistakes and going forward. Even focusing on the positives, you need to be able to still work on your positives to be able to be a consistent international player over a period of time," he explained.

While Kohli admitted his responsibilities have become more, he insisted that he was never going to say it's a burden. The right-hander, the only batsman with a century in the series so far, as a sportsman one had to guts out ups and downs.

"Look responsibility can become less or more according to the phases, it's all about hanging in there and accepting all the phases that are coming your way," he offered. "Sometimes the team is playing so beautifully, you don't need to do anything you feel so relaxed. So, even this is a part of it. I have to take it in my stride and go forward. And not sit here and say 'this is a lot of burden.' That's not the right attitude. I'm willing to go through any kind of phase, I have gone through bad phases in my career. Ups and downs are a part of a sportsman's career and I understand that."

Kohli was specifically asked as to what he would take away as captain from this series, and the Delhiite agreed there were lessons to be learnt even in defeat and that he would never stop learning.  

"Well every game is a learning whether you win or lose," he began. "The only thing that you learn is, you can go out and try to do things that have happened in the past, try and not make those errors and that's probably the only thing that you take forward as a captain and as an individual also. As a captain, you want to proudly do better in situations when the game has gone away from you at times. So, I have thought about those things as well – how you can still keep the pressure on and not let the game slip away in very quick time," he observed.

(Published 23 January 2018, 15:20 IST)

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