May 27, 2011

'I realised I was on the wrong track'

Virat Kohli has learnt a lot about himself and his batting over the last year. Bigger challenges than the World Cup lie ahead, but there's little doubt he's ready for them all
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In the season racing past, cricket, to Virat Kohli, must have felt like a washing machine. Through his 12 months with India, Delhi and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli found himself in all manner of cycles - high-speed tumble, delicate, spin, rinse, permanent press.

Just over a month ago, the groundswell of India's World Cup victory just beginning to die down, Kohli was lining up against players he had wept with at the Wankhede. One day it was his captain, MS Dhoni, but he wasn't his captain anymore. The next day Yuvraj Singh had to be stopped from scorching turf, Harbhajan Singh had be stepped out to, and a way had to be found to make Gautam Gambhir step over the line. Kohli had played the IPL before, had understood what it was all about, but this year getting right into it took slightly longer.

Kohli describes his first week in the IPL as "confusing". For the World Cup winners, he said, "it was tough, to motivate ourselves, to actually be at our best. We weren't up to that mental level, to be honest".

Now, though, with only two games left in the tournament's fourth season, Kohli is second behind Chris Gayle in the run-scoring list, (Sachin Tendulkar is within six runs of both men) and has been among the best fielders in the competition. He has even led Bangalore in Daniel Vettori's absence, and on Tuesday he did everything to help Bangalore inch closer to the final: an unbeaten 70 not off 44 balls, followed by a gymnastics-floor exercise special in defence of 175 - attacking the ball, diving, somersaulting and giving the ultra slow-motion cameras plenty to drool over.

Yet at the end of it all, Bangalore and Kohli tumbled to defeat. Once again on Friday, Kohli will be inside the IPL's playoffs machine - and the second qualifying final - versus Mumbai Indians. He'll be asking himself: Again? More?

When viewed from a distance, the game often does not make sense as to how it pans out over the course of a season. To Kohli, though, the past year has brought with it clarity about his batting in the limited-overs game. His is a special ability: to retain what he believes is essential, pure even, about his cricket and yet fit into the whirl of Twenty20, with its insane strike rates and volcanic ash cloud of boundaries that blur perspective and logic.

Whether in 50 overs or 20, when Kohli and his A game take the crease, the rest of him - his image, the tattoos, the emphatic eyebrows, the fin hairdo, the adverts featuring Bollywood starlets and love bites - evaporates. All that remains is the man and his bat.

Off the field, though, Kohli's engagement with the world is mostly through his image as seller of "youth brands." When old fogeys get him to sit still for a few minutes, however, he morphs from punk rocker to cricket philosopher; an open, thoughtful speaker. A short conversation is peppered with words like "self-realisation" and "channelised", and he describes India's performances in the World Cup knockout stages, much like someone from the Tiger Pataudi generation would: "It was probably the best display of team effort I've seen from the Indian team in a long, long time."

In less than four years Kohli has put himself up and ahead of his other contemporaries for a place in what may well turn out to be the new-look Indian middle order in a few seasons. His first step into prominence was as India's Under-19 World Cup winning captain, whose invective-spewing celebration rang a few alarm bells about what India's next generation was going to be like. That was followed by the IPL hellraiser and then the supporting role in a once-in-28-years World Cup victory.

In between all those monumental events, Kohli has survived the unseen: every young cricketer's meaningless wander through the jungles of celebrityhood. About a year ago a switch was thrown in his mind about what he really wanted to achieve.

"Actually, I switched off." he says. That's where all the talk about self-realisation comes from. The junior World Cup victory brought with it mutterings about his bad-boy ways, much like it had for dozens of other youthful sporting success stories. Everyone in Indian cricket is familiar with the tale of how the teenage Kohli resumed his Ranji Trophy innings against Karnataka a few hours after losing his father in December 2006. What happened afterwards is not so well known. Not his lingering personal grief nor the roiling success of the junior World Cup victory.

In a world where "brands" really matter, tags can be terribly destructive things. Kohli tried to shake off a few with some simple questions and answers. "I said, what am I doing? There's no way I'm going to play for India like that. And that is one thing I wanted to do as a child"

"I had seen a very tough time, when I was about 17, and it was very hard for me to recover from that for the next two years. Not many people have taken that into consideration before giving me that tag and just thinking of me like that." 'That' means the bad boy in fast burn. "I agree, I made a lot of mistakes at that point in time... those were the kind of things I would have done in a normal life but not a stage like the IPL, where a lot of people were watching you." It is as if, in his mind, he is still sorting through the debris.

"I couldn't handle what happened after we won the World Cup. People looking up at you and thinking that you were someone who could play for India and just giving you tags like 'blue-eyed boy' and stuff like that. I couldn't take it, honestly. I made a lot of mistakes."

In a world where "brands" really matter, tags can be terribly destructive things. Kohli tried to shake off a few with some simple questions and answers. "I realised I'm going on the wrong track. It just came from within. I said, what am I doing? There's no way I'm going to play for India like that. And that is one thing I wanted to do as a child."

He returned to cricket and the monotony of practice and nets and the ground, trying to erase 18 months of mistakes. "I used to stay on the field as long as possible and come back home and stay at home. I totally cut off from everything else that I was doing for one and a half years. It started to pay off in my cricket." This shift in his frame of reference has kept Kohli's game at its simplest, treating Twenty20 as a ladder to a better percentage game in 50 overs. He says the Twenty20 format and the six-week IPL helps a batsman one rung up the ladder - in international 50-over cricket. "You improvise more, and that can help you in the one-day format, say whenever you need to attack in a difficult situation."

He lets field hockey keep its scoops and reverses and just fine-tunes what he already possesses. "I know my strengths and weaknesses and I can't play a shot that I'm not used to. I haven't tried to play special shots. I still play the normal shots in Twenty20. But you need to execute them a bit more [thoroughly] than you do in one-dayers just to get results."

Like the delicious six over extra cover - off Albie Morkel - which gave Bangalore the kick in its last few overs on Tuesday night. Twenty20's short attention span meant that effort was obliterated by Suresh Raina's match-winning innings that followed. "It's different to develop a shot over a period of time, but I don't like to try new shots in every match. I just try to stick to my game plan and score runs sticking to the game plan I have."

That game plan has been mostly about seeking gaps to overturn the field, hard running, and turning over strike before picking the moment to move up a gear. At no stage in his international career has Kohli looked uncertain. Five centuries in 57 ODIs for India, three scored chasing (along with nine of his 13 fifties) - what once used to be considered an Indian impossibility. When India field first, Kohli averages over 55, 10 points higher than his career score. It led ESPNcricinfo blogger Andy Zaltzman to predict that Kohli was so good in the chase, "a post-cricket career as a Hollywood stunt car beckons".

Even if completely devoid of a multi-coloured, surround-sound off-field life, Kohli's career itself should not be dull. For a start, he is aware of where he stands. The two cup victories, he says, make him feel "a bit lucky" but they are not his path to entitlement. "I feel very good when I think about it - you have played in your first World Cup and you end up on the winning side - but I feel a bit lucky as well. But I don't want to treat this as if I have achieved something special. Okay, these milestones have come along but I still have a lot of goals I want to achieve. I want to elongate my cricketing career as a consistent player. I have personal goals I would like to achieve someday."

Test cricket, he has often said, is one of those goals, and Kohli is just behind Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle-order queue. After the IPL he will set out on the first leg of India's six-month travels in what will be unfamiliar terrains. Only 15 of his 57 international games have been played outside Asia. But everywhere India go now, they go as world champions. Kohli says the World Cup win has doubled his confidence in international cricket, "but given all of us a sense of added responsibility as well. If you go on top, you need to remain on top. It takes a lot of character."

He has dealt and survived one heavy round of that character-defining stuff. It helped him seal a spot in the World Cup XI, a title victory and a place among the most promising young cricketers in the international game. There's no time to celebrate though; on Friday, in the IPL's second qualifying final, Virat Kohli must go through yet another spin cycle.

Sharda Ugra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY GaneshJayakumar on | May 30, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Our next sachin is Virat kohl, no doubt in that.. Atleast he'll come closer to him.. But need to have discipline that sachin maintained for 20 years..

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    I believe Virat still looks too scruffy. He needs to improve his image- take a clean shave, use uniforms that don't sag and get rid of that shifty look. If he wants to be taken seriously and become a captain, he has to look like one.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | May 29, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Virat has a lot of explosive energy. He needs to find some fun in exploding though. For most part, there needs to be some separation between his focus and his angry displeased self. I think he is struggling more with his mind, with the fact that he is getting so much and it is still not exactly where he wants to be. How hard can it be for him to call up that irritating supermonk MSD and ask him the secret to handling it all? Dhoni would probably tell him something so simple, he will be shocked for a year after that.

  • POSTED BY SachBro on | May 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Cmon, he shows quite a bit of anger on the field, so what, Yuvraj does that, Bhajji does that, hell, even Andre Nel did it all his little career. Anger doesn't show passion, if someone like Sachin, Rahul, Anil or Laxman had done it, I could have called it passion. If you abuse someone, or shout a people at the drop of a hat, its not passion, its a damn habit. As for Kohli, he has a long way to go, I saw him in world cup and he was pathetic. Throwing his wicket away of dollies and just when the team needed him most, did I mention, after consuming zillions of deliveries just to get of the mark? He, as a fielder is even worse, he takes a stunner and then drops sitters at the rate of knots. His ground fielding is decent though. He has a lot to prove in International Cricket now, its easy to appear focused in an interview just when things are going nice for you, what shows your true character is your ability to come back from a lean patch when your country wants you.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    everyone can say that he is ready to take the chalenge...who tells that he is not ready??????? stupid article

  • POSTED BY NidheyaSuresh on | May 27, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Man this interview is perfect. I love how he has realized his mistakes and all his quotes are very inspiring. Even though I'm not from the field of cricket, rather I'm from the field of writing, but his passion, determination & love towards the game is rather inspiring for me. I need to stop lazing around, open a document and start writing. He inspires me to work harder in my life & I have to do so :)) Writing is what I've wanted to do ALL MY LIFE, just like cricket is what he wanted to do all his life.

    Virat Kohli, you are a true inspiration :))

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | May 27, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    @insightfulcricketer Not very insightful, are you?

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    @InnocentGuy, what the author 'quoted' was Kohli's own words as in "stuff". That's not enough to deny credit on a nice article

  • POSTED BY SRT_GENIUS on | May 27, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    Guys complaining about simple English, please stop! (Or do you prefer "cease and desist?").

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Yes, his technique is a work in progress and his off-field behavior was far from decent. It's good to know the reasons though .. for all those who dismiss him, it might be worth a thought where we were placed at 17, and if at all - a few days or months after we lost our parent. Personal reasons don't mix into profession but truth be told, they are mere words. He has identified his follies and that's the first step of aspiring to be a man among boys. Let's hope he hones his technique and re-calibrates his ambition to achieve better. His instincts would come naturally, it's down to him to keep a cool and focused head. Good luck!

  • POSTED BY GaneshJayakumar on | May 30, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Our next sachin is Virat kohl, no doubt in that.. Atleast he'll come closer to him.. But need to have discipline that sachin maintained for 20 years..

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    I believe Virat still looks too scruffy. He needs to improve his image- take a clean shave, use uniforms that don't sag and get rid of that shifty look. If he wants to be taken seriously and become a captain, he has to look like one.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | May 29, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Virat has a lot of explosive energy. He needs to find some fun in exploding though. For most part, there needs to be some separation between his focus and his angry displeased self. I think he is struggling more with his mind, with the fact that he is getting so much and it is still not exactly where he wants to be. How hard can it be for him to call up that irritating supermonk MSD and ask him the secret to handling it all? Dhoni would probably tell him something so simple, he will be shocked for a year after that.

  • POSTED BY SachBro on | May 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Cmon, he shows quite a bit of anger on the field, so what, Yuvraj does that, Bhajji does that, hell, even Andre Nel did it all his little career. Anger doesn't show passion, if someone like Sachin, Rahul, Anil or Laxman had done it, I could have called it passion. If you abuse someone, or shout a people at the drop of a hat, its not passion, its a damn habit. As for Kohli, he has a long way to go, I saw him in world cup and he was pathetic. Throwing his wicket away of dollies and just when the team needed him most, did I mention, after consuming zillions of deliveries just to get of the mark? He, as a fielder is even worse, he takes a stunner and then drops sitters at the rate of knots. His ground fielding is decent though. He has a lot to prove in International Cricket now, its easy to appear focused in an interview just when things are going nice for you, what shows your true character is your ability to come back from a lean patch when your country wants you.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    everyone can say that he is ready to take the chalenge...who tells that he is not ready??????? stupid article

  • POSTED BY NidheyaSuresh on | May 27, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Man this interview is perfect. I love how he has realized his mistakes and all his quotes are very inspiring. Even though I'm not from the field of cricket, rather I'm from the field of writing, but his passion, determination & love towards the game is rather inspiring for me. I need to stop lazing around, open a document and start writing. He inspires me to work harder in my life & I have to do so :)) Writing is what I've wanted to do ALL MY LIFE, just like cricket is what he wanted to do all his life.

    Virat Kohli, you are a true inspiration :))

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | May 27, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    @insightfulcricketer Not very insightful, are you?

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    @InnocentGuy, what the author 'quoted' was Kohli's own words as in "stuff". That's not enough to deny credit on a nice article

  • POSTED BY SRT_GENIUS on | May 27, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    Guys complaining about simple English, please stop! (Or do you prefer "cease and desist?").

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Yes, his technique is a work in progress and his off-field behavior was far from decent. It's good to know the reasons though .. for all those who dismiss him, it might be worth a thought where we were placed at 17, and if at all - a few days or months after we lost our parent. Personal reasons don't mix into profession but truth be told, they are mere words. He has identified his follies and that's the first step of aspiring to be a man among boys. Let's hope he hones his technique and re-calibrates his ambition to achieve better. His instincts would come naturally, it's down to him to keep a cool and focused head. Good luck!

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    hey mister innocent guy if you want tough language then go see a literature website and let this be a crcketing website and there's a reason why sharda ugra is an editor at cricinfo and you and i just can comment well for me it is just that i am 18

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    hey you were not in a "wrong track" but 'fast track'...

  • POSTED BY cric_follower on | May 27, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    blah blah blah... he has a long way to go

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Nice article Guys.........................

  • POSTED BY InnocentGuy on | May 27, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    I think Cricinfo has some very poor writers. This is a good article no doubt, but it's the writing style that's poor. This article mainly consists of stats and quotes. It's a 'gather everything and put it all together' type article with very little to no analysis. It's pretty simple English too. It's not wrong by any means, but I think it doesn't reach standards set by other writers like Rob Steen or Peter Roebuck. Only a handful of them really 'write' articles. Most of them just 'put together' articles. For example consider this line "He has dealt and survived one heavy round of that character-defining stuff" - that's layman's English. Also I just noticed that it should be "He has dealt WITH and survived...". Anyway I hope you put more effort into your articles Sharda.

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | May 27, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @Karunk -> lets wait till Kohli plays Test cricket consistently. Also Ponting is not a good example for a budding cricketer with integrity...he has been a whiner and liar since Day1 who never said truth when it comes to stopping a ball in the boundary or catching a ball etc,

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | May 27, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    Virat has discovered himself in all the tumult he has gone through in his cricketing career.Sachin great as he is never went through the rejection of being dropped.That left Sachin's game incomplete in terms of importance of closing out games in the game that matters.To take out the risks in such games ,wait out best bowlers of opposing teams,planning and executing his games.This is where young Kohli has really matured.Hope selectors make the call and include Kohli in the Test team for Windies and England.How many people will bet he will score a century on debut?

  • POSTED BY The_Dynamite_Kid on | May 27, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    @CricFan108: Agree about Dravid, but not VVS. He has been in good form and has helped us win quite a few Tests in the last year or so.

  • POSTED BY venkatraman83 on | May 27, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    There is no doubt about the talent of this young guy who has promised a lot in the shorter verion of the game and in OID's.He should be groomed well to replace the legends of indian crickets in test matches.There is one more guy who is technically better than virat is rohit sharma and he needs to focus more on his game and temperament.Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Notredam on | May 27, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Dhoni should captain 200 ODis atleats..till 2015 world cup..and lead india again victorious.. Then Kohli and rainna are the future stars..for india..

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    we need to have some policies on players. if a player is old or has played enough cricket, he should be asked to step down even he is playing well. let us give enough opportunities to new comers. looking at this season, there are so many youngsters knocking at the door of Indian cricket; all are full of promises for Indian cricket. it looks as if they were born in wrong time. will we open the door for them? let us wait and see!

  • POSTED BY bala-chala on | May 27, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Kohli is highly promising but he has a long way to go before he can fulfill the promise. He is not technically correct. Good off spinners and seam bowlers will carve him up like a can of sardines. I do hope he is able to fully utilize Flethcer. Apart from this I am still skeptical about his temperament.. Things have been rosy for him the last couple of years but I'd like to see how he handles failure when the pressure is on him to deliver.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | May 27, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    @karunk, before writing here, you must not compare virat with the accomplished batsmen, fielder and captain like ponting. Virat has a full career in front of him. But ponting proved who he is leaving back all incidents, i think virat shouldnt be animated else this will play a pivotal role in his career. when everyone hyped rohit sharma, he lost his touch, but still many aussie gaints believe Rohit will replace sachin, in any case, Virat is grooving to be the next indian captain after dhoni

  • POSTED BY gurudatt_9 on | May 27, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    What no one is talking about is - his capability to lead the Indian side in next 6-8 years, once MSD is ready to hand over.. With the right attitude and opportunities along the way, he could be a really successful leader of the Indian cricket team.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | May 27, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Different variety of spices make a good dish...in between humble and amiable legends like Sachin, Rahul and VVS it is good to have bit of hot headedness and aggression of Virat and Gambhir.

  • POSTED BY -Kuchi- on | May 27, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    @ Karunk More talented than ponting ? xD Shouldnt you wait for him to score atleast 1 test run before you make such ridiculous claims ?

  • POSTED BY Salim_123 on | May 27, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    There was a time when i thought that Kohli could be the next Dravid but from the way i have been seeing him, he needs to behave and contlrol his trantrums and emotions. I simply admire Dravid for his cool head and his simplicity. Even Sachin for that matter. He has been a star for India but has never seen him swearing and getting carried awayl. I know people will say new breed of gneration but if you want to come up you have to be humble. The Dravids, Dhonis and Sachins did not come up the easy way. This is just my observation though i am not an ardent Indian Cricket Fan but feel that India has good upcoming players like Raina, Kohli, Pujara who can fill the shoes once Dravid, Sachin and Laxman retire.

  • POSTED BY Mariakutty on | May 27, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Apart from everything, Virat has all the qualities of a future captain. Ahead of Gautam, Raina, Yuvraj etc...

  • POSTED BY arup_g on | May 27, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    It's important that Kohli remains firmly on the ground and doesn't do what the likes of Yuvraj or Irfan did a few years ago. Kohli is by far the best young batsman we have and can play in all 3 forms of the game very easily, so him continuing with the great form he is in is imperative! I feel he should be playing at number 6 in the England test series, and then pushing up to number 3 when Dravid retires as he is best suited to this position. He will continue at 3/4 in the ODI and should have a firm place in the t20 side. Virat's attitude, will to perform, and hard working ethic will mean he will be in the team for some time, and is surely the next Indian captain when Dhoni passes it over after the 2015 world cup. While he has senior players like Dravid, VVS and Sachin around him he should develop himself more into the test player he should be, and this tour of England will define his career

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Kohli possesses Talent in abundance and is very strong technically than his contemporaries . Although he seems very mature in approach , there is bit of aggression in him on the field which is also good to see from young man of his age, but he needs to learn how to be humble at times...which is the basic requirement for test cricket. would love to see selectors give him the opportunity to play bit up the order in test....Are we going to see another legend in cricket and can he surpass Surpass Sachin's achievements....we will wait and see...

  • POSTED BY cricaddict9118 on | May 27, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    excellent artcile... Virat is gonna be the face of indian cricket in future alongwith raina and rohit(if he also goes through this self-realisation cycle)... likes of MSD,yuvi,Gauti,sehwag will be there for next 5 yrs guiding.. after that these guys will have to show to next gen!!!

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | May 27, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    If Dravid respected the game he would ahve retired by now.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | May 27, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Hope Mr. Wal and a certain VVS retire soon. Indian cricketers need to be pushed outside the team. Why cant Dravid/Laxman take example of Mark waugh who stepped out so that youngsters can be drafted in. I am a die hard Indian supporter BTW. Agreed both of them do contribute to the team but when will the youngsters get the chance?

  • POSTED BY mallik_1010 on | May 27, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Virat may have put in lots of efforts to improve his batting, and it clearly shows in the results. What I really admire about his recent performances (and same for Raina always) is his absolute hunger to succeed. It comes out in the way he bats for long innings, how he runs ruthlessly between wickets and how he throws himself after the ball on the field. May he always retain this hunger to succeed, since he has the talent to then keep performing well at the international level and bring lots of success to India!

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | May 27, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Hope Mr. Wal and a certain VVS retire soon. Indian cricketers need to be pushed outside the team. Why cant Dravid/Laxman take example of Mark waugh who stepped out so that youngsters can be drafted in. I am a die hard Indian supporter BTW. Agreed both of them do contribute to the team but when will the youngsters get the chance?

  • POSTED BY addiemanav on | May 27, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    well somebody from shankar garden had to make it big!!:)if not me, then virat!!his house was a couple of lanes behind mine in west delhi!!but i never met him!!didnt even know about him coz i had left the place sometime before he made his ranji debut!!hav very high hopes from him,he is a tough guy!!hope he reaches test status as quickly as possible!!all the best virat!!

  • POSTED BY Karunk on | May 27, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    Virat is a complete batsman. He resembles Ponting in his approach, attitude & temparment. More talented than Ponting in batting. Sharp & excellent fielder like him. My vote goes to Virat in test XI, if the competition is between Virat, Yuvaraj, Badri,Raina and Pujara. Feel sorry for Pujara & Badri but Virat is on fast pace to overtake them. Skill & technique wise, he is more equipped than Yuvaraj and Raina to play test cricket. Virat should not be made to wait long for his test place.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Its a good article to read so tanks to Sharda. Wish Virat all the best. He is little aggressive on field though I don't think thats harming his attitude to the game. Rather I like his attitude to the game other wise and desperation to win. I'll like to see these players (Virat, Pujara) getting lots chances before Dravid, Laxman see us off.

  • POSTED BY Aristotle01 on | May 27, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Virat is the brightest future for indian cricket. he has the right temperament, the right attitude and is a perfect role model for the new" gen-next" of india. he has matured commendably and it is great to see that he now has his head firmly planted on his very capable shoulders that may see him as India's next captain. That apart; I think he has opulence of talent that if harnessed properly could well see him shatter many batting records. the purity of his shots and his straight bat is a sheer joy and a throwback to the great days of old school classicm. all he has to do is constantly interact with the like of dravid, sachin, sehwag, ganguly and chew their ears off to ensure he stays on top. good that he does not shirk away from hardwork now and does not shy way from asking for help. he has a winner's attitude and that can only be great for india.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Virat needs to control his aggression & emoitions on the field.He has the ability to play any attack in the world & selectors should consider him for upcoming test series.No doubts in my mind that he is going to be next legend in indian cricket if stays focus on his game rather than other things..Best wishes :)

  • POSTED BY Vijay_MatchWinner on | May 27, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    He should learn and follow simple things from greats in the dressing room, as someone mentioned tricks from MS, humbleness from Sachin, to respect a game like Dravid and to remain focused like VVS...

  • POSTED BY Vijayendra on | May 27, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    The writer never comes around to let us know what did Kohli exactly to do to turn his career 180 degrees. We all know you need to spend hours in the nets, but what this article should have highlighted is the fact how he did it? (like talking to seniors, changing grips, change in technique or something else). Remember, Kohli was 'the' choice for no3 in worldcup. By doing so he edged out Raina, which is saying a lot (becoz Raina can bowl as well too). So he must have done something right -- as young generation of cricketers (invective-spewing celebrators) are more like Kohli they would have loved to read the turnaround story more than anything else.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_MatchWinner on | May 27, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    He is brilliant player and sharp fielder. His future is bright, good for Team India :) Consistently performing and winning matches.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    I have seen a lot of people around me irritated by his attitude. They mistake his confidence and his killer instinct as cockiness and arrogance. But i think if India is going to maintain its World Champion tag for a like time like the Aussies, everybody in the team should have the attitude that Kohli has now. He has the raw desire to win, to be the best he can be, to show the world that he is the best and never accepting if told otherwise. More often than not, these are the people who win matches for you. Even if they dont win the hearts. Go Kohli...!

  • POSTED BY sonofchennai on | May 27, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Kohli, stay firm on ur feet and control ur temper learn the tricks from MS, learn to be humble from Sachin, and there is Dravid to respect the game....do this and u are on ur path to glory...best wishes

  • POSTED BY Mastmale on | May 27, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    Virat should be the first in line for the No.6 spot in Test matches. Though I have tremendous respect for Pujara and Badri, Virat is special and can easily play for India for the next 18 years. Some of his comments reflect a very mature and self-driven individual. For e.g.- 'I realised I'm going on the wrong track. It just came from within. I said, what am I doing? There's no way I'm going to play for India like that.' ''I don't like to try new shots in every match. I just try to stick to my game plan and score runs sticking to the game plan I have' 'I don't want to treat this as if I have achieved something special. Okay, these milestones have come along but I still have a lot of goals I want to achieve' '...(WC victory has) given all of us a sense of added responsibility as well. If you go on top, you need to remain on top. It takes a lot of character'

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  • POSTED BY Mastmale on | May 27, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    Virat should be the first in line for the No.6 spot in Test matches. Though I have tremendous respect for Pujara and Badri, Virat is special and can easily play for India for the next 18 years. Some of his comments reflect a very mature and self-driven individual. For e.g.- 'I realised I'm going on the wrong track. It just came from within. I said, what am I doing? There's no way I'm going to play for India like that.' ''I don't like to try new shots in every match. I just try to stick to my game plan and score runs sticking to the game plan I have' 'I don't want to treat this as if I have achieved something special. Okay, these milestones have come along but I still have a lot of goals I want to achieve' '...(WC victory has) given all of us a sense of added responsibility as well. If you go on top, you need to remain on top. It takes a lot of character'

  • POSTED BY sonofchennai on | May 27, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Kohli, stay firm on ur feet and control ur temper learn the tricks from MS, learn to be humble from Sachin, and there is Dravid to respect the game....do this and u are on ur path to glory...best wishes

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    I have seen a lot of people around me irritated by his attitude. They mistake his confidence and his killer instinct as cockiness and arrogance. But i think if India is going to maintain its World Champion tag for a like time like the Aussies, everybody in the team should have the attitude that Kohli has now. He has the raw desire to win, to be the best he can be, to show the world that he is the best and never accepting if told otherwise. More often than not, these are the people who win matches for you. Even if they dont win the hearts. Go Kohli...!

  • POSTED BY Vijay_MatchWinner on | May 27, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    He is brilliant player and sharp fielder. His future is bright, good for Team India :) Consistently performing and winning matches.

  • POSTED BY Vijayendra on | May 27, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    The writer never comes around to let us know what did Kohli exactly to do to turn his career 180 degrees. We all know you need to spend hours in the nets, but what this article should have highlighted is the fact how he did it? (like talking to seniors, changing grips, change in technique or something else). Remember, Kohli was 'the' choice for no3 in worldcup. By doing so he edged out Raina, which is saying a lot (becoz Raina can bowl as well too). So he must have done something right -- as young generation of cricketers (invective-spewing celebrators) are more like Kohli they would have loved to read the turnaround story more than anything else.

  • POSTED BY Vijay_MatchWinner on | May 27, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    He should learn and follow simple things from greats in the dressing room, as someone mentioned tricks from MS, humbleness from Sachin, to respect a game like Dravid and to remain focused like VVS...

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Virat needs to control his aggression & emoitions on the field.He has the ability to play any attack in the world & selectors should consider him for upcoming test series.No doubts in my mind that he is going to be next legend in indian cricket if stays focus on his game rather than other things..Best wishes :)

  • POSTED BY Aristotle01 on | May 27, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Virat is the brightest future for indian cricket. he has the right temperament, the right attitude and is a perfect role model for the new" gen-next" of india. he has matured commendably and it is great to see that he now has his head firmly planted on his very capable shoulders that may see him as India's next captain. That apart; I think he has opulence of talent that if harnessed properly could well see him shatter many batting records. the purity of his shots and his straight bat is a sheer joy and a throwback to the great days of old school classicm. all he has to do is constantly interact with the like of dravid, sachin, sehwag, ganguly and chew their ears off to ensure he stays on top. good that he does not shirk away from hardwork now and does not shy way from asking for help. he has a winner's attitude and that can only be great for india.

  • POSTED BY on | May 27, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Its a good article to read so tanks to Sharda. Wish Virat all the best. He is little aggressive on field though I don't think thats harming his attitude to the game. Rather I like his attitude to the game other wise and desperation to win. I'll like to see these players (Virat, Pujara) getting lots chances before Dravid, Laxman see us off.

  • POSTED BY Karunk on | May 27, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    Virat is a complete batsman. He resembles Ponting in his approach, attitude & temparment. More talented than Ponting in batting. Sharp & excellent fielder like him. My vote goes to Virat in test XI, if the competition is between Virat, Yuvaraj, Badri,Raina and Pujara. Feel sorry for Pujara & Badri but Virat is on fast pace to overtake them. Skill & technique wise, he is more equipped than Yuvaraj and Raina to play test cricket. Virat should not be made to wait long for his test place.