Indian batting greats not has-beens: Kohli
India’s ageing batting kings shouldn’t be treated as has-beens for their flops in Australia, century-maker Virat Kohli says.
Kohli took aim at critics of Indian heroes Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman after making his maiden Test ton, a defiant 116 against Australia in the fourth Test in Adelaide on Thursday.
Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag all average under 25 this series, but rising star Kohli slammed their critics as misguided.
“You don’t just curse the legends of the game for (performances in) five, six Test matches,” said Kohli, whose ton came in his eighth Test match.
“What about the 100, 80 Test matches that came before this?
“The criticism and the praise … shouldn’t be like you make them kings and then treat them like total failures if they don’t do well.
“It’s not fair.”
Even Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar has struggled, averaging below 40 against the rampant Australians.
“That is cricket – it happens sometimes,” said 23-year-old Kohli.
“It’s the first time they have come to Australia and not performed.
“I don’t know why everyone is forgetting the past 15, 20 years where they have done really, really well against Australia in Australia.
“We are not panicking about it – I don’t know why people are.”
The 23-year-old Kohli also admitted to being depressed by his poor start to the series, which returned 43 runs in the initial two Tests.
Kohli hit rock bottom when fined half his match fee in the second Test in Sydney for giving a one-fingered gesture to the SCG crowd.
But the classy strokeplayer turned his tour around with Thursday’s 116 following scores of 44 and 75 in the third Test in Perth.
“After Sydney, it was very bad, my mental thinking – I wasn’t in a good mental space to be honest,” he said.
“I was putting myself under pressure.
“After Sydney, every day I kept telling myself I have done really well in one-day cricket and that is international cricket.
“I kept telling that to myself every day and started really believing in myself once again and neglecting all the other pressures.
“What I can control is go out there and perform, because me sitting out (of the team) is not in my hands.
“What I can do is, if I get a chance, go out there and prove myself.
“By not paying attention to what was being said and written, I gave myself the best chance of being mentally prepared.”© AAP 2013
Watch Glenn Mitchell's wrap of the second Test, where Australia were victorious early on the final day, winning by 218 runs and taking a 2-0 series lead into the third Test in Perth.