Sydney: India's star run scorer Virat Kohli believes Sachin Tendulkar's advice to him during the early stage of his cricketing career helped him immensely to develop as a player.
The 27-year-old on Monday claimed the top spot in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) latest Twenty20 batting rankings after his stupendous form helped India thrash Australia 3-0 in a three-match series.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli
Kohli hit scores of 90 not out, 59 not out and 50 in the series to gain 47 ratings points and move ahead of Australia's Aaron Finch.
"I started playing cricket because of him (Tendulkar). I was inspired to do things he did for the country. I always visualise myself in those situations. I was lucky enough to be in the same dressing room when I started my career. He really helped me with the little things that I could improve in my game," Kohli was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia's website on Monday.
"If he saw something he would come up to me himself and tell the areas I need to work on, which is quite rare. People of his stature won't always do that. It always gave me confidence and I got chance to bat with him and have big partnerships. That was the most special thing I could have asked for," the swashbuckling batsman said.
Speaking about the One-Day International (ODI) series which India lost 1-4 and the successful T20 series, Kohli said, "It has been a hectic and busy tour for us, but I love coming to Australia and performing here. People are amazing here and I love to deliver in front of them."
“It was sad to lose the series but obviously Australia played much better than us. I don’t think we played badly in the ODI series, I think it was important to capitalise in those moments which Australia were good at. Our bowling was also a bit inexperienced as well. In the T20s we have experienced players compared to Australia and we have capitalised more on that,” he said.
Kohli, who is the skipper of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore, praised the cash rich tournament as a great platform for the young players to mix with international stars, adding that the league helped him know Australia speedster Mitchell Starc personally.
"IPL is a great platform for young players to play with international stars. We all get to know all international players very well. If I would not have played with Mitchell Starc, I would not have known how good a human being he is. IPL helps one lift the boundaries with other foreign players and mix with others as well," Kohli concluded.