Leading in all 3 formats is surreal: Virat

India captain Virat Kohli said captaining in all three formats of cricket is quite "surreal" and he never thought that this day would ever come in his life.

By TT Bureau in Pune
  • Published 12.01.17

Pune: India captain Virat Kohli said captaining in all three formats of cricket is quite "surreal" and he never thought that this day would ever come in his life.

"It is quite surreal. I never thought this day is going to come in my life. When I came in the team, I was always looking to perform, get more opportunities and build a solid, consistent career and contribute to the team in winning matches," Kohli said at a talk show here on Wednesday.

Kohli added that he never thought the path is going to lead this way. "I feel everything is God sent. Anything happens to you, happens for a reason and happens at a right time in your life."

It was under Kohli's leadership that the India under-19 team had clinched the World Cup in 2008. Kohli said he has always been the captain to the team that played in junior levels.

"But being captain of India is a completely different ball game. As they say, it's the hot seat in all different ways such as the attention, the praise, criticisms... All these things come along with it.

"But another thing coming along with it is the responsibility and that makes me a better cricketer and a better person as I learn about life through the experiences. So, I take it as an opportunity," he explained.

Asked if captaincy came as a surprise, Kohli said he wouldn't call it so because as a player, he always wanted to give his inputs on the field and was constantly thinking about the game.

For Kohli, it's a privilege that he was found worthy of taking the legacy forward and given the responsibility to lead the team in all three formats.

He also said that captaining in all three formats is not a situation of too much pressure and instead, he saw it as an opportunity to make the difference to the team's fortunes.

Asked him about the pressure of captaining India, Kohli said it wasn't a stressful job. For him, it was fun leading India. "I won't say it is not at all a stressful job. However, it's fun," he commented.

Captaincy is all about understanding the strengths and weaknesses of people around you, Kohli analysed. "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 them work, as there is no one way to do anything.

"You can have different ways, you can have a different style till your intent is good," said Kohli, who has played 176 ODIs so far.

When asked if it is hard for him to captain a side having quite a few senior players, Kohli said "it is a privilege as there's mutual respect in the dressing room."

Although he doesn't want to think much about leading India in the 2019 World Cup, Kohli also confessed that he gets goosebumps thinking of captaining India in a World Cup.

"It's an honour to be a captain in the World Cup if I still remain captain of the team that time, though," he quipped.

What was the best cricketing advice he got so far in his life? Kohli said he got it from his hero Sachin Tendulkar.

"When I approached him about my game, the advice I got from was to believe in my own game and believe in the way I want to prepare and not follow someone else. And that helped me a lot.

"From then onwards, I was really comfortable," Kohli recalled.

About the most exhilarating moment, Kohli pointed out the winning moment in the 2011 World Cup, watching the emotions of senior players and India getting back to the top position in Test cricket. "These were from the team's point of view.

"Individually, the most exhilarating moment was hitting the double century in Mumbai recently (against England) and playing against Australia in Mohali during last year's World T20," Kohli added.

Meanwhile, a special section dedicated to Kohli was inaugurated here at 'Blades of Glory', a museum of cricket memorabilia. The section has his India jersey, pads, gloves, bat and helmet. It also has a special photo gallery showcasing Kohli's glimpses on the field. (PTI)