India news June 10, 2012

Kohli working on curbing aggression

ESPNcricinfo staff

Virat Kohli, India's one-day vice-captain, has said he been working on improving his on-field attitude with his captain, MS Dhoni.

"I have been speaking to MS [Dhoni] a lot about it [on-field displays of aggression]," Kohli told PTI. "He is one who doesn't sink or go above that 'calm line'; he is someone who is always around that line.

"He keeps telling me that once I [learn to] stay around that line, I will improve as a cricketer. If that graph goes up too much or drops, you end up putting yourself under pressure."

The upcoming home season, Kohli said, could help India's young batsmen gain the confidence they need to succeed at the Test level. "It's a good thing that we will play at home. I can cite my example. Before Tests in Australia, I had played against West Indies [in India] and got a few runs. That boosted my confidence."

Kohli was the only India batsman who got to 300 runs - apart from being the only centurion - during India's 4-0 drubbing in Australia, and he was their leading run-scorer in the ODI series that followed as well. Prior to that Australia tour, Kohli had scored half-centuries in both innings of the only Test he played in the home series against West Indies.

In the next 12 months, India play two home Tests against New Zealand in August-September, followed by four against England and four more against Australia. In the wake of India's recent poor showing in overseas Tests and the retirement of their established No. 3, Rahul Dravid, this period is expected to offer a couple of young batsmen a chance to establish themselves in the line-up.

In this scenario, batsmen like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary are pushing for a run in the Test team. But this doesn't put extra pressure on him, Kohli said.

"I like challenges. You look to improve in areas that you wouldn't have thought of before. I don't pay attention to comparisons. Six or seven of us are there, who will all be playing for India for a long time. Among the lot I will leave Rohit out, as he is [the most] talented among the lot. I know we will all be colleagues in the Indian team in near future."

Still, in the lead-up to the New Zealand Tests, Kohli said, his practice sessions will intensify. "We will have some practice games. Even if we don't have, I am sure to increase the hours I put in at the nets. I will be batting for at least three hours.

"Each individual has his own way of preparing. I will again be starting from zero and would like to improve as a batsman."