Virat Kohli: People wanted me to be a 35-year-old matured guy when I was 22
India's Test captain Virat Kohli, at the early stages of his career, was described by many as a talented but an over-aggressive cricketer but has become more mature with age
India's Virat Kohli dives during a training session yesterday. Pic/AFP
Pune: Virat Kohli, at the early stages of his career, was described by many as a talented but an over-aggressive cricketer. Every milestone or a century was followed by what a traditionalist would describe as an over the top celebration, and often included one or two explicit words.
That has completely changed in the past couple of years though. His batting has remained as aggressive as before, but the celebrations have definitely sobered down several notches. He still doesn't mind having a word or two with an opposition player, but that never looks like a young lad crossing the line.
Control on emotions
And although he has been working on the emotional control, the presence of Anil Kumble as head coach can only make things better.
When asked if Kumble has helped in channelling his aggression, Kohli said, "To an extent yes. I was working on those things already on a constant basis. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and evolve as a person. Anil Kumble has channelled it much better in terms of his experience. He was a very aggressive player in his head as well. But he knew when to use that aggression and how to channel it. He has helped me in that aspect a little bit."
Kohli also spoke about becoming more mature with age, and going through the gradual process. "Obviously with age you tend to understand things better and you become more aware of what needs to be done and what doesn't need to be done.
A lot of people showed lack of patience with me initially. They wanted me to be a 35-year-old matured guy when I was 22, which doesn't really happen. I have gone through my gradual process. I am pretty confident of where my game stands and I'm pretty comfortable with myself as a person now," he added.
Rajkot draw vital
Kohli pin-pointed the drawn Test at Rajkot against England that changed the mindset of the Indian team. The team has won five out of five Tests since; four against England and one against Bangladesh.
Talking about the challenges of facing Aussies, the Indian skipper said, "We are not treating the Australians any different than how we have treated other opponents. England was a very tough series. "It was not a convincing draw from our side. It was more of not letting the opposition win. From there on we turned things around. "That took a lot of character and the team is in a different mind space ever since that first game in Rajkot. "We come into the series much more confident as a squad," Kohli added.