Mumbai: If Virat Kohli has his way, he would always want to bat at number three as India’s batting star “feels at home” at that position.
“I am at home at no. 3 is because I have played a lot there. I know I have a decent record at no. 4 as well but I only played only 35-odd games, the rest 120-odd I have played at no. 3. That s where I have realised what my game is at the international level,” Kohli made his desire clear ahead of the five match series decider against South Africa here tomorrow.
“I am sure and confident at no. 3, where I can stabilise the innings and hold one end so that team can benefit as much as possible. That s always been my mindset even if we look to chase the score.
“If I get in early and bat at no. 3 I have all the option to analyse what s going on in the game, choose bowlers to hit boundaries at different times. I am confident I can control the game better. The whole idea is to give more stability in my mind and look to bat through,” said Kohli, who struck a match winning 138 at number three in the fourth ODI after batting at number four to make way for Ajinkya Rahane in the first two ODIs.
On what could be the deciding factor in the crucial game tomorrow, Kohli said: “As far as I am concerned it s going to be the heat. We had played at Rajkot, Chennai and now (are to play) in Mumbai and things are not getting better. It s challenging for both sides.
“It has been a packed series. It s very hectic for guys to play, get to another location, practice and play again. The challenge will be physical as well is mental – it s a big game and it will play on everyone s head. And physical challenge is a major factor,” he said.
Kohli said by now both teams are fully aware of what needs to be done to outdo each other.
“Both teams have figured out what needs to be done. It s all about staying a step ahead of the opposition and it s for every individual to figure out how to stay ahead of the opposition,” he said.