Always wanted to be one of the top players, says Kohli

Bengaluru, March 8 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli, who was presented with the Polly Umrigar award at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) annual awards here on Wednesday, said he always wanted to be one of the top players in the world.

Besides Kohli, premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was presented with the Dilip Sardesai award at the glittering ceremony.

The 28-year-old Kohli, who is the first Indian cricketer to receive the Umrigar award for the third time, admitted that the last 12 months have been a breakthrough period in his career.

“I always wanted to be one of the top players in the world, so I understood what it would take to maintain my form in all three formats. I take the captaincy as an opportunity and not as a job. It’s a responsibility that I need to do the right things, set the right examples and follow a certain path that the whole team believes in,” said Kohli, who received the award in 2011-12 and then in 2014-15.

“The last 10-12 months have been quite unbelievable. As cricketers, you always have a breakthrough year, starting late of 2015 to probably the end of 2016, I could recall when I grow older as the breakthrough year in my career.”

Hailing his teammates for the support and performance in making the team the No.1 in Tests, Kohli said: “It couldn’t have been possible without the help of my teammates. Whenever we had a poor time, one of the champions in our side took the responsibility and stood up. That’s why we are a champion team and are the No.1 Test team in the world.”

“If we can win together, we should also learn to embrace the losses together.”

The Delhi batsman, who led India to an unprecedented 19-Test unbeaten streak, revealed that a lot of people doubted in his abilities when he emerged into the international scene.

“There were a lot of people who doubted in my abilities but I have that belief in myself and if I give my 120 percent everyday then I don’t think I am answerable to anyone,” he said.

Ashwin, who won the Dilip Sardesai award in 2011, also became the first Indian to receive the honour twice.

Former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer delivered the fifth M.A.K. Pataudi lecture before the awards were handed out to the cricketers.

The BCCI Annual Awards committee consisting of N. Ram, Ramachandra Guha and Diana Edulji had nominated former domestic cricketers Rajinder Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar for the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Mumbai Cricket Association has been chosen as the State Association of the Season (2015-16) for winning the Ranji Trophy, the C.K. Nayudu Trophy and also the women’s Plate League Group. They were runner-up in the Cooch Behar Trophy, the Vijay Merchant Trophy and the women’s One-Day Elite Group.

–IANS

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