Virat Kohli is maturing fast. From an aggressive young batsman keen to cement his place in the National team to a leader-in-the-making, he has overcome every challenge that has tested him.
The talented Delhi cricketer spoke like a true leader after his first ODI series win, a 5-0 rout of Zimbabwe.
Kohli, who led the country to glory in the under-19 World Cup and captained Delhi in the Ranji Trophy and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, admitted that the feeling of leading India at the highest level was unmatchable.
“It is a very different experience. It is probably the biggest post in our country in sports. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility. I enjoyed each and every moment of it,” said Kohli.
Tips from the master
The 24-year-old said he did not have to look beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni for tips about captaincy. “I have spoken to him (Dhoni) a lot about how to keep one’s composure in difficult situations. I have seen him not reacting at all and it is a very hard thing for a captain to do. I have spoken to him on field placements, on when to be defensive and when to be aggressive… On the field, I have observed him a lot and learnt quite a few things. It has really helped me.”
Kohli preferred to remain grounded and was not too much concerned about his image as a temperamental player.
“That criticism has been there with me for a long time. I do not intend to cross the line at any point of time. But, I will not change my natural instinct, which is to be aggressive, because that helps me focus on the game.
“In an emotional overflow, you tend to make a mistake. I am human, not a machine that works in a certain way. Everyone makes mistakes and it is (important) how you curb them,” he added.
About left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja becoming the top-ranked ICC bowler in ODIs, Kohli said, “He is a very handy all-rounder and chips in with the bat every time the team needs it.”Moving to the hottest topic in world cricket — the Decision Review System (DRS) — Kohli felt that its failure in the Ashes vindicated India’s opposition to it.
“You have seen how many decisions have gone the other way because of a technology which is not 100 per cent yet… I would rather be given out by an umpire and just walk away with disappointment rather than having reviews and seeing that it is not out and still being given out. That disturbs a player mentally,” said Kohli.