Virat Kohli took charge of the Indian team in the absence of the injured MS Dhoni at the tri-nation series which concluded in the Caribbean recently, and did a splendid job in guiding them to victories in both the must-win games in the run-up to the final.
Kohli, who has established himself as India’s most reliable batsman in ODIs, was in the city yesterday and spoke on a number of issues. Excerpts:
I always like to lead from the front and set an example for whoever is playing with me or around me. I like taking responsibilities. That is a natural thing for me. The best quality is to not be afraid of anything. Even if you have seniors or players with a lot more experience in your team, you need to have confidence in your ability and think you can lead them.
It is important you set an example with your performance quickly and then you gain respect. If the respect is mutual between players and captain, then the side is successful. It comes from performance and when you win matches for the team, that inspiration spreads in the team.
On those involved in IPL spot fixing
Hero is a person who respects the game and does not corrupt the game. The one who doesn’t (respect) or corrupts the game, they are the villains. They should be punished and they have been punished in the past.
On a young Indian side for Zimbabwe tour
I don’t think experience matters, especially in limited overs game. You need 11 players, who are hungry for success, who are hardworking and whose vision is team victory. All 15 players are strong and it is a strong unit, which is good.
On Parvez Rasool
It is a good sign that players are not just coming from major cities. You can see everybody is working hard and the thinking is not narrow-minded in India. It is a good sign that he (Rasool) has been selected. If he gets the opportunity to play a match, then I’m sure he’ll try to give a good performance.”
On his idol
It has always been Tendulkar and it will be Tendulkar for life. He is someone who has inspired me immensely. Just watching him play for India, I used to dream of winning games for India, because he used to do it single-handedly. I just had a vision and got a chance to play with him and do something like that. He has been my superhero and he will be for my lifetime.