Virat Kohli: 'Was never a perfect mould of typical old-school cricketer'

As India took a lead in the Test series against Australia at the Adelaide on Monday, India captain, Virat Kohli, said that he has started understanding himself better.

India captain Virat Kohli after the team's win against Australia in Adelaide on Monday.   -  Getty Images

As India took a lead in the Test series against Australia at the Adelaide on Monday, India captain, Virat Kohli, said that he has started understanding himself better over the last year-and-a-half.

In a free-wheeling interview with former Australia stumper, Adam Gilchrist, Kohli spoke about the first time he toured Australia seven years ago. “It is massively different from the one eight (in 2011) years ago. Even four years ago (in 2014), I was 25. I just wanted to do something special at the international level. There was a lot of desperation.

“Now, it has changed a lot in the last year-and-a-half, where I had to understand myself better. That’s a gradual change. I have never tried being someone else because opinions and that’s why I realised my own mistakes... Just kept correcting them through the journey,” the captain said.

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Talking about the first tour, he said: “In the first one, I was so bad. I did not have a good understanding of where I should do draw the line. I wouldn’t say I regret, but those, I definitely look at them as mistakes. However, mistakes that were important for me to commit so that I can learn from them. I was never a perfect mould of typical old-school cricketer. I always wanted to find my way and those were part of my journey,” he said.

India skipper Virat Kohli is all smiles after India won a thriller at the Adelaide Oval.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Talking about his formative years, he said: “I have always been competitive because of the place I come from. Playing in Delhi in the junior level, things were so competitive. You had to sort of outperform everyone else and make sure you did something special to come up the ranks. The passion and obsession about winning came from there. I just wanted to make a mark badly so badly, I wanted to make that in my career. I kept pushing myself further,” he said.

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Kohli said that young cricketers are more fearless these days. “If you look at the last eight-odd years, guys have started becoming more fearless. They are not taken aback by a big stage, big people coming in large numbers. Players are making impact in their first game. Those are the things that are part of the evolution.

"We have become very different in our personalities in the last decade or so. That’s a natural evolution that has happened back home. It’s (happening in) the whole country in general, it’s not just happening in cricket but it’s happening in other fields as well. People are confident, are more sure about themselves and want to achieve excellence. It is a great thing to have for any country,” he said.

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He spoke of dropping a catch of Kings XI Punjab’s David Miller, in the IPL, and the South African went on to score a match-winning ton. Kohli admitted that he had ‘nightmares after that.’

But now things are different. “Even after we lose an important game, you feel bad at your loss, but look at other team’s players as well, they have emotion and similar passion. There is no reason why we should win every game. I have naturally started feeling happy for the other team as well if they really outplay us. You take it as a part of the game, you cannot be so obsessive about it that you cannot put your mind to anything else. You got to move on and focus on next game,” he said.

That has helped him in Test cricket as well. “You have to come for five days, have to get that mindset, refresh yourself and focus on the next,” he said.