Adelaide, Jan 24: Virat Kohli believes he is tough enough to face challenges and feels failure is part of the game after his poor performance in first two of the four-match Test series against Australia.
"Look, I didn't see my career changing drastically even after the first two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney. Despite what was said and written, failures do happen in cricket and you need to be tough enough to emerge stronger from such situations. You can't have a perfect career, with everything so smooth," Kohli said in an interview to Telegraph India.
"In real terms, this is my first trip to Australia and I shouldn't have been written off after just one Test. You shouldn't judge somebody on the basis of one or two Tests, that's not fair. For a batsman, there"s no second chance, One mistake and you"re gone."
It must have been frustrating, for you'd got starts in the first innings both in Melbourne and in Sydney, but didn't capitalise. What happened?
I'd been enjoying the challenge, except when I got out on the first ball in the second innings in Melbourne. It just so happened that I couldn"t contribute meaningfully.
Kohli revealed he was desperate to prove a point in the second Test in Sydney, but managed to ward off pressure before the third Test.
"I'd felt the pressure before the second Test, in Sydney... I guess I'd been paying too much attention to what was being written and said... Looking back, that was a distraction... I'd become too desperate to make a mark too quickly. I forgot that I had to be patient, forgot that any Indian cricketer invariably is under plenty of pressure.
"I stopped taking note of what was being said and written... I also told myself that I was good enough to be here (with the Test team) and that I had to back myself... That I didn't have to doubt myself. I made a conscious decision to test my mental toughness, to see how patient I could be... I looked inwards, focused on my game, without losing sleep over external issues.
The 23-year-old World Cup winner said he plays with a positive mind and stands up to the opposition.
"Well, you can either go into a shell, go into a negative space, or take a different approach... Of standing up to be counted, of letting the opposition know that you're around with a purpose. I've taken the latter approach. It's probably easier getting into a shell, but one gets picked to show character, to stand up to the opposition.
"One can't afford to be in a negative zone, one has to think positive. In my view, dedication and passion comes into play... I do try and make the opposition work hard for my wicket and that's the way it should be."
Seniors like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid haven't played at their best, and are under pressure to retire, but Kohli feels its unfair to target the seniors.
"It's unfair to target the seniors, especially when we talk of stalwarts who've played for over 15 years... Some haven't done well overseas in the last two series, but how can you forget what they've done in the past?
"There have been many occasions when they've done well overseas, what happens to those performances? We look up to the seniors... That we're in the same dressing room is a privilege... For a 23-year-old like me, it means a lot to be playing with them... Indeed, the seniors have guided us youngsters. I've been shocked to learn that after Perth defeat people want the seniors out."