• Monday, March 27, 2023


Virat Kohli says while Sachin Tendulkar won World Cup in 6th attempt, he won it playing for first time

Indian batters Sachin Tendulkar (L) and Virat Kohli take a run during a limited-over match in 2012. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Ace India batter Virat Kohli recently spoke in a podcast with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) about the experience of winning the World Cup in 2011 and Sachin Tendulkar, the iconic Indian cricketer who was one of his colleagues during that successful mission accomplished at home.

During the talks, he said he won the World Cup while playing it for the first time while Tendulkar could achieve it in his sixth attempt. It was also the maestro’s final appearance at the marquee tournament.

Recalling the historic day during the conversation with the franchise he represents in the Indian Premier League, the 34-year-old said he considers himself lucky to be part of the squad led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni that lifted the crown in Mumbai after beating Sri Lanka in the final.

“I was lucky enough to be part of that team and what led to my selection was also amazing because I had a run of great scores and I ended up being in the team. I never expected it to happen. When things are meant to be. Sachin Tendulkar was playing his sixth World Cup if I am not wrong. And that was the one he won. And That was my first time and I ended up being on the winning side,” he said.

Kohli started off the tournament with an unbeaten 100 against Bangladesh in Mirpur though that knock was overshadowed by former opener Virender Sehwag’s scintillating 175.

The former India captain, who is in the race to eclipse Tendulkar’s record of 100 international hundreds, also spoke highly about Tendulkar.

“Sachin Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It was time we carried him,” Kohli, who was 23 during the 2011 triumph, said.

In 2008, Kohli led India to win the Under-19 World Cup.

Reminding his critics who called him a ‘failed captain’, Kohli said, “You play to win tournaments but that’s not all. A lot was made of it, to be honest. I captained the Champions Trophy in 2017, captained the 2019 World Cup, Test Championship in 2021 and we failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the 2021 T20 World Cup. We reached the finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy, the semis of the World Cup (2019), and the final of WTC but I was considered as a failed captain.

“I never judged myself from that point of view. What we ended up achieving as a team, the cultural change that took place, for me, is always going to be a matter of pride. A tournament happens for a certain period but a culture happens for a long period of time. For that, you need consistency, and for that, you need more character than winning a tournament. I’ve won the World Cup as a player, and I’ve won the Champions Trophy as a player. I’ve been part of a team that has won five Test matches. If you look at it, there have been people who have never won a World Cup.”

Kohli remains India’s most successful Test captain so far, leading his country to 40 wins in 68 matches with 17 losses and 11 draws. In the one-day internationals, he led India in 95 matches and won on 65 occasions, losing 27, tying one while two were inconclusive.

In T20s, he led his side in 50 matches and emerged winner on 30 occasions, losing 16 and tying twice. Two matches were not conclusive.

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