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.