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I never try to outplay anyone, happy with my own game, says Virat Kohli

India Today logo India Today 26-04-2016

Virat Kohli is in the midst of a sensational year, having collected 992 T20 runs, including 367 in the ongoing Indian Premier League. And he has achieved everything with a steadfast dedication to his own approach and his own style.

Not the one to club big sixes or play aerial shots at will, Kohli believes in running hard and placing well. Not so long ago, Ian Chappell rated Kohli a better placer of the cricket ball than the legendary Brian Lara. These tactics have helped Kohli stay two steps ahead of his opponents.

While the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Glenn Maxwell make T20 cricket look exciting and sometimes ridiculously easy with their audacious stroke-play, Kohli prefers to be more technical and is happy to have found his own game in an increasingly competitive format.

Kohli has so far hammered three fifties before notching up his first T20 hundred against Gujarat Lions on Sunday. And don't forget his run before the IPL. He was the top-scorer in the three-match series against Australia, then turned up to play a sensational knock against Pakistan in the Asia Cup T20, cracked a sublime unbeaten 41 against Bangladesh in the final and then took India to the semi-final all on his own in the ICC World Twenty20.

How is so remarkably successful in T20 cricket, without ever appearing to be in a hurry?

"See it's a very basic thing. You need to find your game. Need to be confident about your game. There has been no one way of playing cricket ever and being successful at it. It's all about how convinced you are in your head about how you can play and succeed," Kohli told India Today in an exclusive interview.

"I have come to terms with my strengths and limitations. I have understood that balance. In that process have learnt to do what needs to be done at whatever stage of the game. I don't try to emulate or outplay anyone. I am happy with where my game is right now. Am very confident in my own head about what I need to do," he said.

Kohli, who leads a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore in the OPL, has stood out in a line-up that includes Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson - three of the greatest T20 batsmen ever to have graced the game.

Consequently, Kohli's legions of fans have grown exponentially over the years. During the IPL, the 27-year-old has been a hot favourite cutting across venues, cities and states. Kohli's fan base is as strong as ever, irrespective of which jersey he has donned.

Consequently, Kohli's legions of fans have grown exponentially over the years. During the IPL, the 27-year-old has been a hot favourite cutting across venues, cities and states. Kohli's fan base is as strong as ever, irrespective of which jersey he has donned.

"It makes me feel that if you work hard and are not very desperate to change people's perception about you, than they come to terms with the fact that you are doing what you are doing very honestly.

"They keep the club culture and the franchise bit out of the equation and support who you are as a person. It's been very pleasant for me that wherever I have gone, people have wanted me to do well and responded with lots of love, even when they are the opposition fans."

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