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'Test cricket is the representation of life' - Virat Kohli
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'Test cricket is the representation of life' - Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli expressed his admiration for Test cricket by terming the format an accurate representation of life where one is forced to endure extended periods of adversity.

The India skipper made these comments while speaking to former England batsman Kevin Pietersen during an Instagram live session on Thursday as the two touched upon various topics of discussion.

Kohli, a veteran of 86 Test matches, has amassed an impressive tally of 7,240 runs at a steep average of 53.62 in the format. Apart from spearheading India's batting charge on a number of occasions, Kohli's leadership skills have resulted in unwavering success for his team, which is epitomised by India's top spot in the ICC rankings.

Despite being an equally potent force with the bat in the white-ball forms of the game, Kohli admitted Test cricket was his favourite format.

"Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket, Test cricket and Test cricket. I have said it five times," he emphatically replied to Pietersen's query.

"Because it is the representation of life. Whether you get runs or not, you have to clap when others are batting. You have to go back to your room, get up and come the next day.

"You have to follow the routine whether you like it or not. It's like life where you don't have the option of not competing. Test cricket has made me a better person," he added.

In addition to Kohli's penchant for conjuring heaps of runs, his stupendous stamina embodied by a lively attitude in the field contributes to his esteemed status in Tests.

Meanwhile, Kohli trashed the idea of trimming the conventional five-day format down to four days, which the ICC has proposed in a bid to attract more crowds.

"I was called for a debate and I told them that if Virat Kohli doesn't want four day Tests, it's not happening," Pietersen said, commending Kohli's stance on the issue.

'Would never be able to sledge AB de Villiers'

Kohli's aggressive on-field demeanour has often enraged fans and some pundits alike, who feel the ace batsman needs to tone down his vigour during the cricket action.

However, the 31-year-old perceived his antics rarely crossed the proverbial line of respect for the game and claimed aggression was a form of enjoyment.

"I don't think I need to behave myself just because I am the captain. I need to be able to enjoy and then comes strategy."

While sledging seems to be a part and parcel of Kohli's game, he acknowledged never engaging in offensive banter with Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate AB de Villiers.

"IPL has done a lot in terms of respecting each other. I would never ever be able to do it (sledging) with AB. There is a friendship that lasts much longer than all these things."

Kohli added his lasting bond with de Villiers also made him a wonderful companion out in the middle whenever he came into bat for his team.

"I enjoy batting with those who understand my running between the wickets. You have to understand my calls. I have enjoyed batting with MS [Dhoni] and with AB, we don't even need to call as we look at each other and we know."

Reflecting on the lessons learnt from his disastrous 2014 tour of England, Kohli confessed the five-match series was the lowest point of his career.

"It was a phase where I felt that there was no chance of me getting any runs. I would get up and go to a match knowing that I will not get runs. To go through that feeling that you will fail demolished me."

In danger of losing his spot in the national side, Kohli shed light on the mental toughness that eventually allowed him to overcome his dramatic slump.

"I promised never to let that happen to me again. I was obsessed with my own game and success."

"Don't be self-centred," he further stated as a warning to all aspiring sportspersons.