I feel more confident at No.3: Kohli

Mumbai, Oct 24, (IANS) Ahead of the fifth and final match against South Africa here, India star batsman Virat Kohli on Saturday made it clear that batting at the No.3 spot in the One-Day Internationals (ODI) makes him feel at home and more confident.

Powered by a superb ton (138) from Kohli, India defeated South Africa by 35 runs in their fourth and penultimate match in Chennai to level the series at 2-2.

“I feel at home batting at No. 3. The reason is I have played a lot of games there. I have realised that No.3 is where my game is in international level. I have played at No. 4 very late. I am very sure and confident of my ability at No. 4 that I can stabilise the innings and go on to score a big one for my team. That’s always been my mindset,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference here on Sunday.

“If I get in early at three, I have the option to analyse about the game what is going on and play my game accordingly. I want to execute my plans batting at No. 3. I feel confident that I can control the game better at No. 3. I felt very good at last game. If Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fails, I can come in and take the game from there,” he added.

The 26-year-old said that the home crowd support at the Wankhede Stadium will be a big boost for India, adding that being part of such an exciting match makes him feel proud.

“A game like tomorrow is something I want to be a part of. You always want to be a part of big games for the team. The feeling you get after winning and after contributing is a special feeling. I am sure everyone will be geared up. We get a lot of support here. Wankhede crowd is amazing and that is something all cricketer wants in a final like game,” he said.

Kohli also backed fellow Delhi batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who has not being among the runs lately, scoring just 66 in the four matches of the ongoing five-ODI series.

“Everyone will not get runs every series. He (Dhawan) has been tremendous for us in ODI for a long period. The World Cup was a high pressure tournament and he stood out. If he gets going, he can take the game away. That is why we show so much faith in his ability. He has different sort of mentality. When he keeps going, he keeps attacking throughout which is a rare quality. You have to back such players and especially against big opponents,” the Delhi-born batsman said.

The Indian Test skipper believes that the heat and humidity here will a challenge for both teams on Sunday.

“I think the heat will be the challenge for both teams. We played in Rajkot, then Chennai and then Mumbai. I think it is not getting better. It has been a tiring series. We played a match and then next morning off to another city. It gets hectic for us. It will be challenging both physically and mentally. Mentally as it is a big game. Both teams have figured out what needs to be done. It is important to stay a step ahead of the opponent,” Kohli said.

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