Proteas

Kohli clashes with Centurion journalists

Virat Kohli (Gallo)
Virat Kohli (Gallo)

Centurion - Indian captain Virat Kohli is an emotional character. 

It shows when he is batting, standing in the field or giving press conferences. 

On Wednesday, following his side's 135-run loss to the Proteas at Centurion that shattered his dreams of becoming the first Indian captain to win a Test series in South Africa, Kohli gave an honest assessment of how his side had performed over the past two Tests. 

They were not good enough, he said, and they would have to take a long, hard look at themselves and re-evaluate their commitment to the Indian cause. 

But, for a couple of journalists gathered at the post-match press conference on Wednesday, that was not good enough. 

Kohli has been heavily criticised for his role in team selection on this tour, with the bulk of the Indian media puzzled by the fact that Ajinkya Rahane has not been selected to play. 

Instead, Kohli has backed the erratic Rohit Sharma, who has always struggled away from his home conditions. 

Kohli was pressed on team selection numerous times at the press conference, and eventually he snapped, taking aim at a couple of probing journalists. 

"We will have to sit down and discuss those things," a calm Kohli initially explained.

"I can’t speak on behalf of selectors as to what they are thinking. Obviously, the selectors will come into the conversation as well when we are looking at planning for future tours also because we have a lot of cricket away from home. "

Kohli was then pressed on the Rahane v Sharma debate. 

"Look, when something doesn't work, obviously it's going to be spoken against," he said.

"We are pretty used to that. We as a team don't think of what the opinion going around is, and I've clarified that before also.

"There are many people that are involved in making a decision for the playing XI.

"We obviously look at the conditions that we are playing in and we decide as a management group and the captain myself sitting together, that what is the best XI that we can take on the field.

"And then we don't sit back and think 'Oh we could have done that or we should have done that'. You make one decision and you back it. It’s always that scenario."

After that, things started to heat up. 

Kohli was asked if it hurt not being able to get his best XI onto the field. 

"What is the best XI," he barked back.

"You're telling me we could have played the best XI. So you tell me the best XI and we'll play that.

"Didn't we lose in India? We had the best XI there. Whoever plays should be good enough to go out there and do the job for the team.

"You can't pinpoint and say, 'this is the best XI.' We played with teams before that have looked really strong and have lost as well. So, I certainly don't bend towards that opinion at all."

When he finally thought he was done with questions on selection, Kohli was then asked about his inconsistency in that department over the past two years.

"How many Test matches have we won out of those 30?" he snapped.

"How many have we won? How many have we won? 21 wins. Two losses. How many draws?"

The journalist then responded by asking how many of those wins had come in India.

"Does it matter? Wherever we play we try to do our best," a visibly irritated Kohli said.

"I’m here to answer your questions, not to fight with you."

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