Since the age of 19, Virat Kohli was touted as India’s next captain. It is no secret that he has been being groomed under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Virat not only knows it but is also doing his best to grow s a leader by observing and absorbing from what Dhoni does on the field. (Also Read: India team for first three Sri Lanka ODIs)
Virat has been getting chances on and off to implement his observations and the ODI series against Sri Lanka is one such chance as he is to lead Team India in the absence of the rested MS Dhoni. (Also Read: Sri Lanka Tour India 2014: Schedule & Fixtures)
Virat said he was excited at the challenge of leading a young team and take forward India’s World Cup preparations.
“I always like captaining the side as it gives me an opportunity to test myself at a different aspect of the game,” Virat said. “Especially having a young side with not so much of experience is always an exciting thing because there is a lot you can find out about different players and experiment a lot on the field.
“Such excitement and energy on the field is always a pleasing thing for the captain. So, I am glad that we have a bunch of guys who are hungry and eager to perform. I would relish the challenge to lead them.
Virat said that with the World Cup looming, all the players would be eager to put their best foot forward in order to stake a claim on the plane to Australia.
“This is an opportunity for guys like Wriddhiman Saha and Varun Aaron to cement their places,” Virat said of his young team. “There can so many twists and turns in the playing XI and with the World Cup around the corner, everyone would want to make a strong case for themselves.
“Everyone knows that the World Cup spots are up for grabs and four-five of these guys will make the squad. We don’t play too many ODIs between this series and the World Cup and that makes this series even more exciting.”
About his own leadership, India’s prolific batsman said he keeps making mental notes of all the things he learns from Dhoni and remembers them when faced by a similar situation as a captain.
“I try to keep learning as much as I can as a captain because when a series like this comes up, I have to be prepared to tackle various situations on the field,” he said. “I at least try to learn from what MS does really well in similar situations.
“Like batting styles, people have different styles of captaincy as well. So, don’t promise that you’ll see the same field settings with me being the captain. But the thinking behind his decisions and moves is something I have tried to pick from MS.
“It’s been really nice to be able to speak to him about why he does particular things in specific situations and get an explanation. I might have some doubts during the time the decision has been made but when he gives me an explanation, it’s completely logical and something I wouldn’t have probably thought of. I try to take all that along with me and use it whenever I can to the benefit of the team,” Virat said.