Ahead of India's Men's T20 World Cup Super 12 campaign opener against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, talismanic batter and ex-skipper Virat Kohli spoke on his understanding and shared vision for the game with captain Rohit Sharma, saying that the discussions between the two have always been about ways to win big competitions.
"Our discussions are always on how do we win big tournaments and then, our planning and preparations are directed towards that. Ever since I have come back to the team, the atmosphere has been very good. Whenever there's this healthy camaraderie within the group, then you look forward to doing anything you can for the team. So, our understanding and vision for the game have always been similar."
"We always work towards covering all the loopholes no matter how small they are. We solidify such aspects and move ahead. It's very free-flowing and all pointed towards our main goal. Everyone's relaxed and knows they are confident and prepared. It's just how to handle the pressure that matters. In these times, we try and lead the group for big matches and make an impact that will sort of relax the others. Once that momentum sets in, then everyone knows that you can ride that wave," said Kohli in an interview on 'Cricket Live' show on Star Sports.
Kohli also showered praise on middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav, who is in the form of his life this year in T20Is, and elaborated on his feeling over batting alongside the Mumbai-based batter who is so confident about his game in the shortest format for India.
"It's a great space to be while batting out there in the middle with SKY. He has a lot of fun in the middle because of his skills and ability. He just asks how the ball is coming from the wicket and then, within 2-3 balls, he gauges the wicket and then gets going."
"During our partnerships, he says that he will take his chances and just wants me to be there with him. So, I play a different role when I'm out there with him, which I am enjoying because it works beautifully well for the team."
Kohli further explained how his approach is when India are going to play in matches of such high magnitude, like Sunday's marquee clash against Pakistan, where almost one lakh supporters from both sides will be at the MCG.
"More than the game, I am looking forward to that moment (playing in front of 1 lakh supporters). The last time I experienced such a moment was at Eden Gardens where I think there were around 90,000 fans. It was a packed stadium. When I walked out, there were legends of the game like you know, Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis."
"The atmosphere was electrifying, but I needed to focus because you can get pulled into that environment. The same was at Mohali in the (2011 ODI) World Cup. There's a different atmosphere that's built during World Cup matches."
"It's a different feeling, and you can sense that build-up, you know there's this nervousness in the area, anticipation and everyone's buzzing. I love those moments. It's actually these moments that are part of the whole experience. You play to actually live these moments."
The entire segment of Kohli speaking ahead of India's T20 World Cup opener will be aired on the "Cricket Live" show on Star Sports on October 23 at 7 am.