Kolkata, (Mail Today): Virat Kohli has been in sublime form over the last year and the transition from a newcomer in the Test arena to being one the Indian team banks on has been faster than his silken flicks on the leg-side.
But Kohli is happy with the responsibility that comes with being a vital cog in the Indian middle-order.
Speaking to MAIL TODAY before the start of the Test series against England, Kohli said: “I am happy with the responsibility that has come to me after doing well in the Test format. I might have made my debut in mid- 2011, but then I always wanted to do well in Test cricket. Also, I thrive when handed pressure. I have always believed that responsibility is a great teacher."
Kohli is an unbelievable player, says Arthur
Top BCCI award for Virat Kohli
“There is no point warming the bench and learning by seeing others play. No two players are the same, so it’s not necessary that one player will handle a situation the same way as another. I have always looked to grab every opportunity that I have got.”
India have played a lot of ODI and T20 matches in the recent past before the series against England, and Kohli feels it is difficult making the transition from the shorter formats to the longer format as a batsman.
“Changing your game according to the format isn’t very easy and takes some time. The balls that you would normally chase in the shorter formats need to be left alone in Test matches and so you need to train accordingly in the nets. One needs to curb one’s attacking instincts just a bit,” he said.
Commenting on Kevin Pietersen’s return to the English line-up and the impact he had, Kohli said: “He is a class act, but he must have been under tremendous pressure coming back into the squad after whatever happened.”
Kohli also feels that criticising MS Dhoni every second day isn’t the right attitude as it is Dhoni who has won India two World Cups.
“I don’t really understand the reason for so much criticism. He has won India the World T20 as well as the ODI World Cup. If he was this bad, he wouldn’t have won India so many games,” the 24-year-old Delhiite said.
It isn’t just Dhoni, but also coach Duncan Fletcher who has come in for criticism.
While people have questioned Fletcher’s contribution to the team and comparison have been made between him and his predecessor Gary Kirsten, the otherwise flamboyant Kohli preferred to play this one with a straight bat.
“I don’t think you can compare the two people as they are both different in their approach. While Fletcher is a good coach, I don’t think he should be compared to another individual (Kirsten). Kirsten’s performance with the Indian team is there for everyone to see,” he said.
(The interview was taken before the Test series)