The Test captaincy left him surprised but Virat Kohli says he is better-prepared to lead India in the limited-overs format as he has already picked up some tricks of the trade.
Kohli was the obvious choice for captain in the limited overs format after Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to step down days before the England series, beginning January 15. Kohli wasn’t such an obvious choice in Tests after Dhoni announced his shock retirement midway into the Australia series in 2014.
“Test captaincy I think I was told a day before the Adelaide Test that MS is not going to play the game and I was going to be captaining. It was quite surprising. I didn’t expect it at all. In my head I was still finding my feet in Test cricket as a batsman. But the responsibility worked beautifully for me,” said Kohli comparing the scenarios in which he was appointed captain.
Kohli has had a dream run since that Australia tour and is now considered among the top batsmen playing the game. He feels just like it has worked for him in Tests, captaincy across formats will push him even more.
“It (captaincy in Tests) took a bit of time to process and understand how it is done. Yes I would say the ODI and T20 captaincy has been something that I have tried to learn along the lines a lot more. At the same time I feel a lot more confident taking it up and starting it up straightaway because of the kind of cricket I have played in the shorter formats and what I have learnt,” he was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
“I have been preparing in my own head, MS has been speaking to me about strategies, about how situations need to be approached. Because I think he also understood it is very important to guide me, teach me, knowing the legacy he has set up. It is very important for the person who is coming to take it forward and not be in a state of confusion.
“Added responsibility has always worked for me in a sense that there is no room left to be complacent. You have no room to relax. That is why even in IPL, it is very easy to throw my wicket after 60 and 70s but the fact that I push myself after that is because I understand as a captain of the team, I need to set an example and need to first make that kind of effort before asking the team members to do it,” Kohli added.
He knows captaincy in limited overs format is a different ball game and hailed the contribution of Dhoni.
“Captaincy in Test cricket still gives you the opportunity to comeback into the game. I saw an Allan Border interview where he spoke about the leadership of Ricky Ponting. He mentioned that Ponting was able to maintain that consistency rate over such a long period time in a format that doesn’t allow you to comeback very often. So to stay on top was a remarkable achievement. That is what MS has done for India as well. Has got all the major trophies.
“Captaining in shortest format is very difficult, and to keep coming back in that requires different set of thinking, requires you to think out of the box, which MS has done wonderfully for so many years. Responsibility makes me better player, better person, makes my understand the game much more.
“I think I would be able to execute the plans with much more conviction than the time I started off with Test captaincy,” said Kohli.