Young Turk Virat Kohli, who is expected to one day captain India, spoke to The Telegraph at the InterContinental on Saturday evening.
The following are excerpts
Has the Perth Test (scores of 44, 75) become the turning point in your career as an India cricketer?
Look, I didn’t see my career changing drastically even after the first two Tests (Melbourne, Sydney). Despite what was said and written, failures do happen in cricket and you need to be tough enough to emerge stronger from such situations. You can’t have a perfect career, with everything so smooth.
To improve, you do need to experience the ups and downs...
Absolutely... I’d come to Australia before, for an Emerging Tournament, but the wickets had then been flat... Had been very different... The bowling attack, too... In real terms, this is my first trip to Australia and I shouldn’t have been written off after just one Test... You shouldn’t judge somebody on the basis of one or two Tests, that’s not fair. For a batsman, there’s no second chance... One mistake and you’re gone.
It must have been frustrating, for you’d got starts in the first innings both in Melbourne and in Sydney, but didn’t capitalise. What happened?
I’d been enjoying the challenge, except when I got out on the first ball in the second innings in Melbourne... It just so happened that I couldn’t contribute meaningfully.
Surely, you would’ve been feeling the pressure in the lead-up to the third Test, in Perth?
I’d felt the pressure before the second Test, in Sydney... I guess I’d been paying too much attention to what was being written and said... Looking back, that was a distraction... I’d become too desperate to make a mark too quickly. I forgot that I had to be patient, forgot that any Indian cricketer invariably is under plenty of pressure.
What did you do before Perth?
Stopped taking note of what was being said and written... I also told myself that I was good enough to be here (with the Test team) and that I had to back myself... That I didn’t have to doubt myself. I made a conscious decision to test my mental toughness, to see how patient I could be... I looked inwards, focused on my game, without losing sleep over external issues.
The positive reviews after your Perth performances must have delighted you...
I’d stopped paying attention to the negative stuff and, because of that, I didn’t think it necessary to go through the positive things either... Today, I just want to be in my own space, focus on what I need to do... I know I’d batted well... I’d been positive, but cautiously so, not recklessly.
But appreciation from the likes of Ian Chappell and Ravi Shastri must be welcome, isn’t it?
Sure, if it comes from people who understand the game and have themselves been successful... It means I’ve been improving, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered.
The final Test is just days away...
I’m excited... I’m feeling good after Perth and, hopefully, I’ll be able to make a contribution and we’ll finish this series with a win.
Who has been the toughest bowler to face?
Peter Siddle... Swings it both ways at good speed.
You’re a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad and have seen a lot of success in ODIs. What’s it like being in a losing team (in Test cricket)?
Well, you can either go into a shell, go into a negative space, or take a different approach... Of standing up to be counted, of letting the opposition know that you’re around with a purpose. I’ve taken the latter approach. It’s probably easier getting into a shell, but one gets picked to show character, to stand up to the opposition... One can’t afford to be in a negative zone, one has to think positive. In my view, dedication and passion comes into play... I do try and make the opposition work hard for my wicket and that’s the way it should be.
The senior pros have been getting a lot of stick. What’s your take?
It’s unfair to target the seniors, especially when we talk of stalwarts who’ve played for over 15 years... Some haven’t done well overseas in the last two series, but how can you forget what they’ve done in the past? There have been many occasions when they’ve done well overseas, what happens to those performances? We look up to the seniors... That we’re in the same dressing room is a privilege... For a 23-year-old like me, it means a lot to be playing with them... Indeed, the seniors have guided us youngsters. I’ve been shocked to learn that (after Perth) people want the seniors out.
Why did you not make an impact in your debut Test series (in the West Indies), last June-July?
Mentally, I wasn’t in the right space... I wanted to make it big straightaway... Thought Test cricket is very different from the ODIs... It is different, but the basics are the same.
The last one... How did you overcome that disappointment?
It was hard and I’d become desperate in England, when I returned to the India dressing room for limited overs cricket... I spoke to MS (captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni) and the coach (Duncan Fletcher)... Both advised me to enjoy the game and to cherish whatever I was getting... They asked me not to put myself under too much pressure, for that would harm me and affect my decision-making... Their advice helped.
Virat Kohli: It's unfair to target the seniors
The young Indian batsman opens up about his career - from the highs of the World Cup to the lows of India's losing streak in Tests.By Lokendra Pratap Sahi | Yahoo! Cricket – Sun 22 Jan, 2012 5:11 PM IST
- No live matches are in progress.
MORE TOP STORIES TODAY
[SPOT-FIXING ROUND-UP]: Meiyappan finally surfaces | Rauf dropped from ICC event More » ICC drops tainted Rauf; police summons CSK chief
Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) Notwithstanding serious doubts over injured Sachin Tendulkar's availability, Mumbai Indians would look to exorcise their Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs demons when they meet … More » Mumbai take on Rajasthan in the clash of titans
LEEDS, United Kingdom, May 23, 2013 (AFP) - Daniel Vettori was on Thursday ruled out of playing in the second and final Test against England starting at Leeds on Friday after doubts over his ability to … More » Vettori out of second Test against England
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Sunrisers Hyderabad came up short against Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator here but their inaugural Indian Premier League campaign was a successful one, their captain Cameron … More » Sunrisers can be proud of their effort: White
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid said that dealing with the spot-fixing allegations surrounding his team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been one of the toughest phases … More » Dealing with spot-fixing has been tough: Dravid
Result: embarrassment in one dressing room, and one set of flabbergasted bookies. More » A T20 match both teams wanted to lose
LEEDS, United Kingdom, May 23, 2013 (AFP) - England captain Alastair Cook believes Headingley will be far from the bowling-friendly ground of old when the second Test against New Zealand starts at Yorkshire's … More » Cook expects hard work at Headingley
He facilitated others in Bollywood in placing bets with bookies he knew. More » Vindoo spills the beans on Bollywood
Royals will meet Mumbai Indian in the second qualifier. More » Hodge blinder floors Sunrisers
On the eve of the last edition of the Champions Trophy, set to begin within a week in England, Indian cricket is again mired in the fixing controversy. More » Will 'Champions' win back the fans?
Decision will save the Sahara Group a lot of money. More » Pune withdrawal a smart business move
Sachin Tendulkar will not take further part in the Indian Premier League owing to an injury on his left hand, his team Mumbai Indians said Wednesday. More » Tendulkar out of IPL with hand injury
David Warner regretted not keeping a lid on his outrage but maintained he had to defend himself after his image was used in a report condemning the IPL. More » Warner defends self for Twitter rant
Sports minister Jitendra Singh, however, wants that there should be certain minimum level of transparency and accountability that federations like the Indian cricket board need to ensure. More » Government wants BCCI to be transparent
Was Sreesanth planning to start betting houses in India and abroad? More » Revealed: Sreesanth's betting company
The BCCI blamed Sahara Adventure Sports Limited for the failure of the arbitration and said it "cannot be held responsible" for the breakdown of the process. More » Sahara to blame for arbitration failure
New Zealand's Daniel Vettori is on the verge of making a dramatic return to Test cricket as the Black Caps bid for a series-levelling win against England at Headingley. More » Vettori set for dramatic Test recall
England will look to seal a series win over New Zealand in the second and final test starting at Headingley on Friday before turning their attention to Australia in July. More » England eye NZ Test series win
Usman Khawaja says he is desperate to emerge from the periphery and consolidate a regular spot in the Australian team for this year's Ashes series against England. More » Khawaja looks to nail down Test spot
Coach Stephen Fleming credited his Chennai Super Kings' success to correct team selection and the loyalty the franchise has shown to the players. More » 'Selection key to Chennai's success'
It is his role in keeping some dubious cricketers suspected of match fixing outside the team. More » The feat Sachin never got praise for
New Zealand's Neil Wagner said Wednesday he wanted to make England's batsmen "hate him" and "get in their face" as the Black Caps look to square the Test series with victory at Headingley. More » Wagner wants England to 'hate him'
Joe Root said England would look to carry on from where they left off against New Zealand at Lord's during the second Test at his Headingley home ground. More » 'England can build on Lord's success'
Australian batsman David Warner was Wednesday found guilty of breaching Cricket Australia's code of behaviour over a Twitter tirade at two journalists and fined Aus$5,750 (US$5,608). More » David Warner fined for Twitter outburst
Chennai defeat Mumbai by 48 runs in the first Qualifier at Kotla. More » Kings boss their way to fifth IPL final
LEEDS, United Kingdom, May 22, 2013 (AFP) - New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling was ruled out Wednesday of the second and final Test against England at Headingley starting Friday. More » New Zealand's Watling out of second Test
COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka left-arm fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara has been ruled out of the Champions Trophy starting in England and Wales next month with an ankle injury. Welegedara will be replaced … More » Welegedara out of Champions Trophy
By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia are rightly underdogs for the upcoming Ashes series in England but will do everything they can to bring the coveted urn back home, skipper Michael Clarke … More » Underdogs ready for Ashes scrap: Clarke
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Pune Warriors India, owned by Sahara India Pariwar, pulled out of the already scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) Tuesday and announced that they will not renew their sponsorship … More » Sahara pulls out of IPL
India's apex court asks the Board to clean up the gentleman's game. More » Supreme Court raps 'lackadaisical' BCCI
One of the SunRisers' key bowlers, Ishant was nowhere to be seen and team officials said he was still down with fever. More » Ishant doubtful for win-or-go home clash
Starting off as the team's first-choice wicketkeeper, a string of poor performances with the bat saw Patel being dropped. More » Parthiv glad to have peaked at right time
New Delhi, May 22 -- More than 13 years after he headed the probe into match-fixing in cricket, former Indian Police Service officer Ravi N Sawani has been approached by the Board of Control for Cricket … More » BCCI falls back on tried and tested Sawani
Imran, who has been fitted with a spinal brace to aid recovery, fell from a fork-lift taking him to a poll campaign podium on May 7. More » Imran Khan discharged from hospital
[SPOT-FIXING ROUND-UP] Actor Vindoo Dara Singh arrested. More » Court extends Sreesanth's custody
Clarke has thrown his support behind Warner, saying he could still captain Australia despite facing a disciplinary hearing over a Twitter rant. More » Warner has Clarke's backing
England named an unchanged squad for the second Test against New Zealand at Headlingley, after batsman Ian Bell and spin bowler Graeme Swann both overcame illness. More » Bell, Swann fit for second NZ Test
He might be a bad boy, but he wasn’t a bad bowler. More » Let down by his own character
Corruption in cricket is as old as the apathy of the sport's administrators. More » [VOX] Crime and lack of punishment
DUBLIN, May 22, 2013 (AFP) - Pakistan are keener than ever to get back on the field for the first of two one-day internationals against Ireland on Thursday after their second ODI against Scotland on the … More » Cricket: Pakistan raring to go against Ireland
Sir Ian Botham is confident James Anderson will far exceed his England record of 383 Test wickets after the Lancashire seamer broke the 300 barrier during last week's series-opening victory over New Zealand … More » Botham backs Jimmy to break his record
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Hit by the recent spot-fixing scandal, the Rajasthan Royals will have to come out strong to take on the impressive Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) eliminator … More » Shaken Royals take on rising Hyderabad
When the two face each other in Qualifier 1 of the Indian T20 league on Tuesday, with a spot in the final the reward for the winner, the rivalry will demand a lot more than usual. More » More than just spot in the final
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma doesn't want his team to get distracted by the spot-fixing controversy in the Indian Premier League. More » Focus is on playing good cricket: Rohit
"The feeling is quite similar as no one gave the SunRisers a chance in the tournament, and we have qualified for the playoffs" More » 'Hyderabad's success reminds me of 1983'
It seems Rajasthan Royals, caught in the middle of the spot-fixing scandal involving three of their players, want to stay away from the spotlight as much as possible. More » Rajasthan feel heat ahead of playoff
Cricket Australia said Tuesday it had no immediate plan to curb the use of social media by players after a Twitter rant by David Warner, but suggested it could happen in the future. More » Australia don't plan on Twitter clampdown
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said it was disappointing that spot fixing has overshadowed the IPL but hoped that the tournament would finish on a winning note. More » 'Corruption shadow over IPL's good work'
SG Test balls may be used for Ranji Trophy and junior tournaments. More » Kumble moots neutral venues, SG balls
"The contracts of all three players have been suspended pending enquiry," a team statement said. "We have already filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against all three players." More » Rajasthan suspend tainted players