Cricket

Leading India In All Formats Is Surreal, Says Virat Kohli

Newly-appointed limited-overs skipper Virat Kohli has said that becoming the India captain in all the three formats is surreal for him. The Test captain was given the ODI and T20I captaincy on January 6, a couple of days after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down from the captaincy.

Speaking during a talk show after inaugurating Nitesh Hub Mall in Pune, the batting sensation said:“It is quite surreal. I never thought this day is going to come to my life. When I came to the team, I was always looking to perform, get more opportunities and build a solid consistent career and contribute to the team in winning games.”

The 28-year old further added:“I feel everything is God sent. Anything happens to you, happens for a reason and happens at a right time in your life.”

The Delhi batsman, who has led the India U-19 team in the past and is currently leading RCB in the IPL, also admitted that leading the cricket-crazy nation will be a different ‘ball game’.

He said:“But being captain of India is whole different ball game altogether. As they mention it, it is the hot seat in all different ways such as the attention, the praise, criticism, all these things come along with it.

“But one thing comes along with this is the responsibility and that makes me a better cricketer and a better person as I learn about life through this experiences, so I take it as an opportunity.”

When asked whether he is feeling the pressure of leading the Indian team, he said: “I won’t say it is not a stressful job, however, it is fun”.

Kohli, who has led the Test team brilliantly, said that captaining is all about understanding his players’ strength and weakness.

He said:“The way I came up in my career is similar. I knew my strengths and weaknesses but people did not like me as such. They were not too pleased with the way I presented myself, the way I was.

“My mistakes were not acceptable. That always gave me a mindset of doing things my way and finding a way to make it work, as there is no one way to do anything. You can have different ways, you can have different style till your intent is good,”

Arguably the best batsman in the world right now, Kohli has played several innings that have sealed their spots in the cricketing folklore. But when the Indian skipper was asked to pick his favourite innings, he picked only two.

“On personal ground, the most exhilarating moment was hitting the double century in Mumbai recently (against England) and playing against Australia in Mohali during (2016) T20 World Cup,” he said.

Kohli’s journey as the ODI skipper will begin on January 15 when India take on England in the first of the three-match ODI series in Pune.

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