In response to a question on the rift between him and former coach Anil Kumble, Kohli decided to not divulge any details about the nature or cause of the rift and said that he doesn't want to talk about dressing room matters in public. He also mentioned that he had immense respect for Kumble as a player and for his decision to step aside.
Here is what he had to say to the question put forth during the press conference.
On Being Away From the Controversies In the Caribbean Islands
It is a lovely atmosphere to be a part of after a high profile tournament like the ICC Champions Trophy. It is great to be in a relaxing place and the boys are relaxed and looking forward to play against the West Indies. Always a joy to play here because of the way the culture is and you always want to come here and enjoy playing cricket.
On rift with Anil Kumble and whether the situation could have been handled better
Anil bhai has expressed his views and taken a decision to step out and we all respect that decision. It is something that has happened right after the tournament. We have tried to create a culture in the change room that whatever happens there, we must maintain the sanctity of the change room. For us that is paramount and I will continue to respect that culture.
I have utmost respect for his decision and the cricketer that he has been and all that he has achieved for the nation. There is no taking away from him on that aspect and we all respect him.
On whether the rift could have had an adverse effect on team's performance
See as I mentioned, for me it is important to maintain the sanctity of the change room. What happens in the change room is very sacred and private to all of us. Something that I would not express in detail in a public scenario. His point of view is out there and we respect that.
Is this the nucleus of the team for the 2019 World Cup
The team is going to remain more or less the same. May be there could be 10 more players and then from a pool of say 25 players you look at different player at different stages. Who is responding to pressure situations the best is something we need to look at as a team.
There are some exciting prospects in India right now who have done well in the IPL and in domestic cricket. They will get a chance to showcase their talent in the next two years and I am sure by 2019 we will have the best 15 available to go to the World Cup. The team currently has all bases covered and we have a lot of belief in ourselves as a group.
On creating a culture of playing boring but effective cricket
Every player needs to take responsibility of how he trains. This is the biggest strength of the team. Specific roles are given to top order, middle order and the lower order and they need to keep repeating the roles again and again for the team to succeed. This is where consistency comes from. Important for the team to repeat the basics. If any improvisation is needed then we address that.
On opening combination
Ajinkya Rahane will partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top. He was our back up opener for the Champions Trophy. He has done well in the past both as an opener and in the middle order but we believe he has more power as an opener and suits his game the best.
Any learning from the Champions Trophy defeats
Yes, learning from your performances is a must. We learn from both defeats and victories. If you want to consistent then you have to learn things that you have done well. The bowlers have done well under pressure. The batsmen failed in the final and surely they would like to improve. This team has the hunger to keep learning.
On how he has taken to captaincy
When you play as a player you don't understand the dynamics of being a captain. The responsibility becomes much larger. It makes you a better person in terms of how to react to different players and on how to motivate different players. That is a kind of maturity I would give a few grey hairs for sure. It will keep coming in the coming years till the time I stay captain.
First Published: June 23, 2017, 10:00 AM IST