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Responsibility of captaincy makes me a better cricketer: Kohli

Last updated on: January 12, 2017 09:41 IST

Virat Kohli says captaining the team in all three formats is 'surreal'

IMAGE: Virat Kohli says captaining the team in all three formats is 'surreal'. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Newly appointed India’s ODI skipper Virat Kohli said captaining in all three formats of the game is quite "surreal".

"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 prolific batsman said on the sidelines of an event in Pune on Wednesday.

Kohli, who was leading the Test side, was appointed the ODI and T20 skipper last week, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down from the position.

"I feel everything is God-sent. Anything happens to you, happens for a reason and happens at a right time in your life," he added.

It was under Kohli's leadership that the India had clinched the U-19 World Cup in 2008.

The Delhi player said he has always been the captain to the team that played in junior levels.

"But being captain of India is a whole different ball game all together. As they mention it, it is the hot seat in all different ways such as the attention, the praise, criticisms, 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 these experiences, so I take it as an opportunity," he explained.

Virat Kohli at the inauguration of a mall in Pune on Wednesday

IMAGE: Virat Kohli at the inauguration of a mall in Pune on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI

Asked if captaincy come as a surprise, Kohli said as a player, he always wanted to give his inputs on the field and was constantly thinking about the game.

He said it is a privilege that he was found worthy of taking the legacy forward and having the responsibility to lead the team in all three formats.

He also said captaining in all three formats is not a situation of too much pressure and this is an opportunity to make the difference to the team's fortunes.

"I won't say it (captaincy) is not a stressful job, however, it is fun.

"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," said Kohli, who has played 176 ODIs so far.

Kohli also said it is a privilege for him to captain a side having senior players, and there is a lot of mutual respect in the change (dressing) room.

Virat Kohli of India bats during the 2016 ICC WT20 Group 2 match against Australia in Mohali

IMAGE: Virat Kohli of India bats during the 2016 ICC WT20 Group 2 match against Australia in Mohali. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Asked him about is he excited to lead in the World Cup, he said he gets goose bumps thinking of the eventuality.

"Because, it is an honour to be a captain in the World Cup if I still (remain) captain of the team that time," he stated.

What was the best cricketing advice he got so far in his life, he 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 your own game and believe in the way you want to prepare and do not follow someone and that helped and from that onwards, I was really comfortable," the skipper recalled.

Asked him about the most exhilarating moment, he said that from the team's point of view, it was the winning moment of 2011 World Cup, watching the emotions of senior players and India getting back to the top position in Test cricket.

"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," Kohli added.

Kohli will lead the Indian side in the three match ODI series against England commencing on January 15 in Pune.

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