India vs Afghanistan ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli says it will be 'strange' to play in front of the pavilion named after him, watch
When India takes on Afghanistan in match No. 9 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday, Virat Kohli will be playing at his home ground.
In the inaugural match of the World Cup 2023 in Chennai on Sunday, Kohli scored an astounding 85 runs and put up a record 165 runs for the fourth wicket with KL Rahul to lead India to a six-wicket victory over Australia.
In a video that the BCCI released on Monday, Kohli first discussed his stance with KL Rahul that ended the match before discussing the possibility of playing at a stadium that also bears his name for a pavilion.
The Delhi batter's name is attached to the "Virat Kohli Pavilion" at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
"That is the stadium where I played age-group Ranji cricket growing up, in my opinion. There, I also performed for India. You can still clearly recall those moments. You sense it because that's where it all began—when selectors first laid eyes on you and extended an invitation. Returning to Arun Jaitley Stadium to play is a unique experience.
In the past, we would rehearse in B grounds while watching the Ranji teams work out at the main grounds. I feel uncomfortable performing in front of a pavilion that bears my name. I prefer not to discuss it too much. In the video, Virat Kohli stated, "But it's a great honour and I feel happy and grateful about it; it's something I never felt would happen to me."
Kohli went into great detail about his crucial 165-run partnership with Australia, which allowed them to pursue a 200-run target following a first-inning collapse to 2/3. Compared to their 233-run partnership for the third wicket against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 last month, he said it was "a bit more special."
"One of the best parts of our collaboration was how happy we were to hit the ball around, without really caring about our hits and balls—just pushing over the physical obstacles we had faced. You get more tense and exhausted under pressure.
Simply moving the ball around and scoring ten or fifteen runs at a time, in my opinion, was what really helped us forge a strong alliance, said Virat Kohli.
KK Rahul stated that he had not anticipated going to bat so early and that he had grown weary of the partnership. I'm tired, I won't lie. After 50–70 runs of the partnership, the only conversation was, "Let's save energy and not run the twos.
" Our instincts kicked in and we began running as soon as we hit it in the gaps. In the video, Rahul stated, "It was nice to start the WC with a win."