Batting ace Virat Kohli says 'a bit of overconfidence' because of playing in the Indian Premier League cost him his place in the Test side in 2011 and cautioned India's youngsters of not getting carried away by the lure of the cash-rich T20 league.
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"I was left out because of my attitude. People thought I was too arrogant… that I was too funky with my spiky hair, tattoos and all," Kohli is quoted as saying in an exclusive interview in GQ India’s March 2015 issue.
"Training with the best players in the world every day, you start feeling a bit overconfident, you start feeling cocky, and that happened to me in the first year of the IPL," he adds.
The right-hander was initially dropped from the Test squad for India's four-match series against England in 2011 before being recalled as cover for the injured Yuvraj Singh. He did not get a chance to play in the series and struggled to make an impact in the first couple of Tests in Australia later in the year but bounced back in style with a century in the fourth and final Test in Adelaide. The effort, though, could not prevent India from suffering a 0-4 whitewash.
Kohli, who leads Royal Challengers Bangalore, says though youngsters are focussed on doing well in the IPL in today's times their ultimate dream should be to play Test cricket, which he rates as the highest form of the game.
"The IPL has given a lot of youngsters the opportunity to gain confidence, but some get overconfident and they lose the dream to play Test cricket for the nation. It’s all about how early you realize that and get back on track," he adds.
Image: Virat Kohli on the cover of GQ India's March 2015 issue.
Photograph: Charudutt Chitrak for GQ India, March 2015 issue.