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I got a Dhoni signed ball as memorabilia: Virat

Team India captain reflects on the series win, the findings and a memorabilia to cherish

The common thread between geniuses is that they don’t consider their performance as an art. For them it is an outing to display character, class and consistency. The pundits can be in awe of what is at display, but for the genius it is the flow engineered by the state of mind.

Virat Kohli is one such genius in the making who shows a gung-ho attitude on the field and his youthful exuberance is something that would make you fall in love with the art of batting.

The teenager who led the India U-19 team to victory in 2008 is now the Indian Captain across all formats of the game, albeit one thing remaining constant – his hunger to win games.

2016 was one such year for Virat as he led the team in whites and made India reclaim the No.1 Test rankings. His growing maturity and show with the willow had impressed all and sundry and therefore he was recently handed over the reins of limited overs captaincy by MS Dhoni with India-England ODI series being his first assignment as India’s full-time captain.

India won the series 2-1 and the skipper spoke to BCCI.TV on his ability to walk the talk, findings from the series and more..


Captain, you once famously said that ‘we can’t always give excuses on transition and learning, it is time for results’. You have walked the talk and how.

Yes, it has been a series of finds, character building, people expressing themselves and not worrying about the number of games they have played. The team has showed character and intent of being smart cricketers, winning games for the country. There is no better feeling and I feel that the guys have really encashed the opportunity wonderfully and delivered every time we have been under the pump. Especially youngsters stepping up with special mentions to Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, the way they have performed in the series has been outstanding. Everyone has contributed throughout the series and that’s the hallmark of a good team.

Cricket pundits are raving about this one SIX of yours against Chris Woakes in the 1st ODI. How did you make it happen?

I don’t know (laughs). I think it was the momentum that I was in and the motivation to win a game for my country, understanding how many runs we need from the number of balls left and reacting to the ball coming in that area. I have never played a shot like that before, but to have executed that, I surprised myself as well. It is one of those shots that will remain as a memory in your career and you can sit back and say that this is one of those special things that happened to me. I’m grateful to have executed it.

Phrases like ‘King Kohli’ and ‘Captain Fearless’ have been doing the rounds everywhere. What do you think suits the best to you?

I prefer being the Joker in the change room.

Three moments from the ODI series that will stay with you for long and why?

Kedar’s batting performance in the 1st ODI.

Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) and MS (Dhoni), the way they batted in the second game and the way Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled in the death overs

The way Hardik and Kedar strung in the partnership (3rd ODI). I think it is commendable for two guys after having lost all the experienced guys in the team to stitch a partnership like this on a difficult wicket is something outstanding for me. These three events stand out for me because this is something that we always wish as a team to execute.

Most Captains have a ritual of picking up memorabilia after a series win. Have you picked up anything yet?

Well, MS gave me the match ball in the second game. The stumps are too expensive nowadays and they don’t allow us to take it home (smiles). He gave me the ball and told me that it was my first series win as captain and it is memorable. It was a special moment for me and I got the ball signed from him as well.

Rajlaxmi Arora
Rajlaxmi Arora

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Thank you, Mr. Tendulkar: Yuvraj Singh

The elegant left-hander speaks about Tendulkar, partnership with Dhoni and his career-best ODI knock

Five years, nine months and 30 days ago, Yuvraj Singh hit 113 runs against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup match in Chennai. Not many would have thought that one of India’s biggest hitters of the game would go into a lull period owing to a life threating disease.

Yuvraj’s determination and positivity towards life made him overcome the rollercoaster period as he came out as a tough mind who went on to inspire the nation with his ‘never say die’ attitude. From working religiously on his fitness and setting his system to come back to where he belongs, Yuvraj did it all.

‘It is tough when you go through a phase like this in your life and then strive to come back to where you belong. A person in his mid-30s needs to do an extra bit to regain his fitness,’ he quipped while talking to BCCI.TV.

From Chennai to Cuttack, a time lapse video would miss out on many gems of the triumph of human spirit, as Yuvraj Singh went onto register his career-best 150 runs in ODIs. 

Here are some excerpts, which would help discover those gems.

Sachin Tendulkar called you a superstar in his tweet after you scored your 14th ODI ton. Your message to him?

He always calls me a superstar, which is a little embarrassing in front of him, but I always take his wishes whenever I am starting my international career again. Thank you so much Mr. Tendulkar for your wishes, I think they worked really well today.

On Sachin Tendulkar calling MS Dhoni a ‘rockstar’

MS and I have been batting together for a while and he played a sensational knock. We have a great understanding in between the wickets and today we discussed what was happening on the field and it turned out to be a great partnership in the middle.

5 years 9 months 30 days since the last international 100. How does it feel?

It feels great! It has been a career full of ups and downs. Coming back into squad and cementing my position, being in and out of the team for a while, but happy that I worked hard and believed in myself.

You were thumping the BCCI crest with the bat handle after reaching your century. Run us through the emotions

Emotions are very hard to describe as it has been a while and I was not being able to get 100 runs on the board. I worked very hard over the years, worked on my fitness, on my diet. It took me a long time to come back and show that I can still play international cricket. It was very important that I proved that to myself because there is very less self-belief outside.

In your earlier interview to us, you had said you were keen on seeing the vintage partnership between you and MS Dhoni. Tell us more about it.

It was a great partnership. We started slowly, knocked the ball around as we knew how we were going to approach the game. My approach was to not hit the ball in the air, but get a steady partnership. Mahi too was keen on staying at the wicket and rotate the strike. We understand our goals really well and it worked for us today

This is your highest score in ODIs. How do you rate this century of yours?

One of my best knocks in one-day cricket. 150 is a big score for any batsman and I’m very proud to get that. Hopefully, I can continue to do well with whatever I am left with.

The DRS is slowly becoming the Dhoni Review System as he gets it right mostly. Your comments?

I think Dhoni had a better view of the ball hitting the ground. I initially knew that it had hit the ground, so we went ahead and called for the DRS.  

Rajlaxmi Arora
Rajlaxmi Arora

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