India's batting ace Virat Kohli said it would be awkward to play in front of a pavillion named after him at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium, where he honed his skills playing age-group cricket and Ranji Trophy. After opening their World Cup campaign with a comfortable win over the mighty Australians, India will take on Afghanistan in their second fixture at the quadrennial showpiece at Delhi on Wednesday.
A pavillion at the stadium, known earlier as the Feroz Shah Kotla, is named after the former India skipper. In a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Virat was discussing his partnership with KL Rahul against Australia, which eventually turned the match in India's favour.
The discussions in the video then veered to Virat fronting up to bowlers near a pavilion named after him.
"For me, that is the stadium where I grew up playing age group, Ranji cricket. I also played for India there. Those memories stay fresh in your mind. You can feel it because that is where everything started, selectors saw you for the first time and gave you an opportunity. It is special to go back and play at Arun Jaitley Stadium. We used to practice in B grounds and watch Ranji teams practice in the main grounds. It is awkward for me to be playing in front of a pavillion named after me. I do not like to talk about it a lot. But it is a great honour and I feel happy and grateful about it, it is something I never felt would happen to me," Kohli said in the video.
Virat Kohli opens up on his 165-run partnership with KL Rahul:
The Delhi-born cricketer said that a highlight of their partnership was how content they were with knocking the ball around.
"A highlight of our partnership was how content we were to knock the ball around and not necessarily look at our runs and balls, just fighting through the physical challenges of what we had experienced. Pressure also makes you more tense and gives you more fatigue. Just knocking the ball around, bringing down the total 10-15 runs at time, that for me I felt helped us build a big partnership."
India will hope to end their ICC trophy drought this year.