West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Trinidad June 8, 2011

Mature Kohli makes all the right moves

  shares 74

Virat Kohli comes to meet the press in a sleeveless shirt. An image of a Japanese samurai warrior with a sword raised screams out in a tattoo on his left shoulder. He looks relaxed; the musk he is wearing is called confidence. He was once brash but he was always ambitious. For a while he was living on the edge, struggling to come to terms with early fame, but his ambition has roped him in.

It was during an inane tri-series in Bangladesh in January 2010 that he first showed signs of maturity in public. It made you sit up and notice then. These days he wears it lightly. The clarity of thought is striking. He seems to be at peace with himself. It's no coincidence that his cricket too is flourishing.

Today's knock was yet another one from the stable of Kohli. He seemed always under control. The bowling wasn't too testing, the pitch had eased up and he rarely let the opposition into the game. Later, he said the right things. These days he always says the right things with a smile. The confidence hits you. The once brash brat is now almost likeable. Times they are changing.

"I was always determined to do well," Kohli said. "Probably what I was doing off the field was not on at that time. I probably got carried away. Someone or other always tell you that this has been spoken about you at this place. I decided to change. I decided myself. No one can force myself to change. I had to do it. It was time to change.

"I have been given a chance to play for India, which is not a small thing because you have 20 others with same talent are waiting for that kind of a chance. So why waste the opportunity given to me. I got the odd game here and there in 2009. I was a replacement player then. I was very determined to do well at each opportunity."

In the early days, the lack of consistent runs devalued the swagger that he always seemed to have. It made him look arrogant. Brash. Wild. Unlikeable. And even made you forget that he was just a young boy, learning to deal with things that not many at his age are forced to deal with. The bad press accumulated. The bad karma continued. Kohli was living in the headlines for the wrong reasons. A talent was on the verge of self-destruction. Then something happened.

"It's about realising that every opportunity is as important as the next one or previous one," he said. "Not everyone gets an opportunity to play for India. It's a big honour for me. I have realised that massively in the last one and half years. I want to give 100% and make use of every opportunity. Initially, in my ODI career, I have made rash mistakes with my rush of blood at important times. If you keep doing it, you are not going to get the opportunity. I enjoy my batting these days. Especially during a chase I know what I have to do, rotate the strike."

Questions about his attitude have dogged him for a while. Has he got bored now? "I think I have answered that too much," he said with a smile. "But I have enjoyed answering that question every time. I feel good with myself for having changed what people did not like initially and then transform into that performances. I feel good about it but it's not something I want to be too proud of and get relaxed. I don't want to get complacent. The whole point in changing from that kind of attitude to this current attitude to perform consistently. I want to keep going."

It's not going to be easy. It will take a constant vigil over oneself. The danger of relapse is going to be there. But Kohli continues to not only say but also do the right things. Sample this answer to a question about whether he strives to ape a Tendulkar or a Sehwag. In his own mind, he has translated that question to mean whether he is striving to be as famous as them.

"It was never in my mind that I had to be at the level of them in fame or whatever. Those guys have been there, done that. It has taken a lot of time to reach where they are. There is no point in comparing oneself to them. Everyone has their own style of batting. I have realised that in the last one and half years. I admire them but there is no use batting like them. Take the first match of the World Cup. If I had tried to bat like Viru bhai, I would have perhaps ended up scoring 40. They have a special ability that has made them legends of the game. There is no point in doing what is not my strength."

The answers were perfect. The cynics will say they were too perfect. His fans will say they come from a man who is in a hurry to mature. He won't say it publicly but one gets the impression that he thinks he can become India's captain one day. Kohli has always struck you more ambitious than a Rohit or even Raina for that matter. A scribe put it to him that he has a wonderful ability to talk and express, and asked if he works on that skill.

"I don't think I work on that ability (to express myself)," Kohli said. "It's about being honest."

Does he think it's a leadership quality?

"I can't say anything about it being (leadership quality). I am honest in whatever question is thrown at me at every press conference. I don't really work on it."

Virat got up and left the room. Ambition floated in the air.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    time gives all the answers you need.... virat will ride India Surely in future... no doubt the young and most anticipated will do it.

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    @ Dnyanesh Nadkarni.I think you should get your perspectives right. Anybody who has followed for a considerable period wud know even watching team chase is that much more tense than while watching a team setting a target. Then u can imagine how stressful it cud be for the guy who is actually playing. Any player worth his salt can play his natural game while batting first. But to bring out your best while chasing, that takes enormous guts. This factor cant be taught, u need to have played some cricket to understand what I am saying. And by the way VVS' 280 was while following with a huge deficit and more than 2 and half days to play for, thats even more stressful than a chase. As for Ganguly, the Lord's final '02 chasing 326 he set the tone for the chase with 60(43) and his 144 in brisbane '03 where he set the tone for the entire series are prime examples. Sachin is a great batsman no doubt. But will you ask him bat for your life.No. That wud be the Laxmans, Sauravs and Steve Waughs.

  • POSTED BY reghuh on | June 10, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Gayle not in the squad for 3rd ODI....WI board is mad...... Its right opportunity for the club players back in India....all can be tested against this wi team (without the threat of loosing a match) before these youngsters are made to play for their respective states in Ranji Trophy......lols..... Its impossible to believe that its WI which had produced Joel Garner, Greenidge,Ambrose,Walsh,Richardson,Richards,Hooper,Marshall,Lloyd,Lara etc......

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Flush of fame is what strikes a rising star with a gale force. Not everyone can handle it consummately. Virat has an array of the finest examples of stars that came successfully through this dicey phase. Tendulkar, Viru, Dhoni, Dravid et al should be his role models. He just needs to unscramble how a Muralidaran , a Kapil or a Kumble have continued to remain humble in all the glare of limitless fame.

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | June 9, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in having ambition. If ambition meets mature head and talent, it usually produce good results. I would not say SRT does not have ambition. However he has very mature head and lot of talent to channel his ambition to produce results. I don't understand cynicism in comments.

  • POSTED BY Finn92 on | June 9, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    I think that he is one of the best young batsmen in the world. He'll walk into the Test team when the time comes for someone in the middle order to retire

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Calling Virat Kohli a future great might turn out to be like when we all called Irfan Pathan the next Kapil Dev....Kohli looks very ambitious...true that...but I still feel his real test will be when he does not get enough chances in the middle....when India is at full strength...because I feel his ambitious nature might just become a reason for his downfall...On the other hand, I feel Suresh Raina beats him all ends...He is one of the most selfless cricketers I have seen...And also very talented, committed and enthusiasic...His failure to short ball tactics have undone at many times, his brilliance..and people sometimes start to look at him in doubt...but seeing his track record, of how many innumerable times, he has played incredible innings to take his team over the line is heartening for his fans.Would love to see Raina bat a little higher up the order...hope his hardwork will silence the critics soon....and as a fan, it will be more heartening to see a Raina become a future great.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @Fennington Suresh...Please understand cricket and then speak...Cricket is not just about chasing but also about setting...If SRT has set amazing targets than he has chased, its not his mistake...BTW VVS and Saurav are no different statistically...VVS has that magical 280, in tests and BTW even then he wasnt chasing but setting...Saurav doesnt even have that...Sachin has saved a test, lost a test and won a test scoring centuries in the 4th innings...Can many batsman say that?

    BTW I feel Kohli can be the new DHONI!!!

  • POSTED BY Prakhs on | June 9, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Kohli has always been a very ambitious player and its good that he has realized early what exactly he was doing wrong. India would never want to loose such a talent because of incorrect attitude. Kudos to the young man, he has shown very good signs of early maturity and future leader. One can never know he might become the captain of Indian cricket team one day and might become a bigger name than a Sehwag or a Yuvraj, future can be very unpredictable. Thanks to IPL, no doubt its called a distraction for international players but the one best thing BCCI has done is not to allow more than 4 foreign players in a team..giving more opportunity to domestic talent. All the best to Kohli, i'll never forget the statement he gave after winning the world cup. He said when asked about how he felt of lifting Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders, "He has carried the burden of Indian cricket for more than 20 years, it's time we should carry him on our shoulders".

  • POSTED BY vickyrIND on | June 9, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Can we compare our fingers with each other, though they are from the same body? The answer is NO. We cant really compare the Past with Future. Thats how the transition happends. From Kapil - Srinath - Zaheer or from Gavaskar - Tendulkar - Virat or any body else. Tendulkar become Tendulkar after 20 years so give other guys a fair enough chance before you even think of comparing.

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    time gives all the answers you need.... virat will ride India Surely in future... no doubt the young and most anticipated will do it.

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    @ Dnyanesh Nadkarni.I think you should get your perspectives right. Anybody who has followed for a considerable period wud know even watching team chase is that much more tense than while watching a team setting a target. Then u can imagine how stressful it cud be for the guy who is actually playing. Any player worth his salt can play his natural game while batting first. But to bring out your best while chasing, that takes enormous guts. This factor cant be taught, u need to have played some cricket to understand what I am saying. And by the way VVS' 280 was while following with a huge deficit and more than 2 and half days to play for, thats even more stressful than a chase. As for Ganguly, the Lord's final '02 chasing 326 he set the tone for the chase with 60(43) and his 144 in brisbane '03 where he set the tone for the entire series are prime examples. Sachin is a great batsman no doubt. But will you ask him bat for your life.No. That wud be the Laxmans, Sauravs and Steve Waughs.

  • POSTED BY reghuh on | June 10, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Gayle not in the squad for 3rd ODI....WI board is mad...... Its right opportunity for the club players back in India....all can be tested against this wi team (without the threat of loosing a match) before these youngsters are made to play for their respective states in Ranji Trophy......lols..... Its impossible to believe that its WI which had produced Joel Garner, Greenidge,Ambrose,Walsh,Richardson,Richards,Hooper,Marshall,Lloyd,Lara etc......

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Flush of fame is what strikes a rising star with a gale force. Not everyone can handle it consummately. Virat has an array of the finest examples of stars that came successfully through this dicey phase. Tendulkar, Viru, Dhoni, Dravid et al should be his role models. He just needs to unscramble how a Muralidaran , a Kapil or a Kumble have continued to remain humble in all the glare of limitless fame.

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | June 9, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in having ambition. If ambition meets mature head and talent, it usually produce good results. I would not say SRT does not have ambition. However he has very mature head and lot of talent to channel his ambition to produce results. I don't understand cynicism in comments.

  • POSTED BY Finn92 on | June 9, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    I think that he is one of the best young batsmen in the world. He'll walk into the Test team when the time comes for someone in the middle order to retire

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Calling Virat Kohli a future great might turn out to be like when we all called Irfan Pathan the next Kapil Dev....Kohli looks very ambitious...true that...but I still feel his real test will be when he does not get enough chances in the middle....when India is at full strength...because I feel his ambitious nature might just become a reason for his downfall...On the other hand, I feel Suresh Raina beats him all ends...He is one of the most selfless cricketers I have seen...And also very talented, committed and enthusiasic...His failure to short ball tactics have undone at many times, his brilliance..and people sometimes start to look at him in doubt...but seeing his track record, of how many innumerable times, he has played incredible innings to take his team over the line is heartening for his fans.Would love to see Raina bat a little higher up the order...hope his hardwork will silence the critics soon....and as a fan, it will be more heartening to see a Raina become a future great.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @Fennington Suresh...Please understand cricket and then speak...Cricket is not just about chasing but also about setting...If SRT has set amazing targets than he has chased, its not his mistake...BTW VVS and Saurav are no different statistically...VVS has that magical 280, in tests and BTW even then he wasnt chasing but setting...Saurav doesnt even have that...Sachin has saved a test, lost a test and won a test scoring centuries in the 4th innings...Can many batsman say that?

    BTW I feel Kohli can be the new DHONI!!!

  • POSTED BY Prakhs on | June 9, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Kohli has always been a very ambitious player and its good that he has realized early what exactly he was doing wrong. India would never want to loose such a talent because of incorrect attitude. Kudos to the young man, he has shown very good signs of early maturity and future leader. One can never know he might become the captain of Indian cricket team one day and might become a bigger name than a Sehwag or a Yuvraj, future can be very unpredictable. Thanks to IPL, no doubt its called a distraction for international players but the one best thing BCCI has done is not to allow more than 4 foreign players in a team..giving more opportunity to domestic talent. All the best to Kohli, i'll never forget the statement he gave after winning the world cup. He said when asked about how he felt of lifting Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders, "He has carried the burden of Indian cricket for more than 20 years, it's time we should carry him on our shoulders".

  • POSTED BY vickyrIND on | June 9, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Can we compare our fingers with each other, though they are from the same body? The answer is NO. We cant really compare the Past with Future. Thats how the transition happends. From Kapil - Srinath - Zaheer or from Gavaskar - Tendulkar - Virat or any body else. Tendulkar become Tendulkar after 20 years so give other guys a fair enough chance before you even think of comparing.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | June 9, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    @viral please first of all do compare two batsman of different era....especially THE GREAT SRT is incomparable with anyone in the world.....that time was the bowlers era so the average of 32 for 16 year old was exceptional....yes today is also very stiff competition in this batting era but remember kohli got all his chances at 1,2,3,4 which SRT never got...SRT has done which all know and kohli is still to do great things ...so it is stupid to compare him to any old great of cricket like rahul too..

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | June 9, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    i do not know what is the thinking of people around ..one who handles the press well is a good captain ...what a crap...suresh raina looked perfect in the captaincy role...reminds me of hansie cronje who bat lower down the order but always plays crucial and aggressive innings for his team...and nice and cool as raina is.... for captaincy you need not to be the best batsman of the team and he looks aggressive and perfect one day batter and good enough in interview skills to which is needed for the captain ...kohli no doubt a very good learning batsman but do not know about his captaincy skills...raina is definitely a better choice.. ...kohli is very ambitious about is batting ans let him concentrate on that and raina is different character of same age as kohli but more experienced than him enjoys the success of his teammates ...as dhoni do and jels very well with everyone ...perfectly a future captain..!!!

  • POSTED BY Bones5198 on | June 9, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    At people who are putting down Virat to big up Tendulkar, there is no reason why you can't respect both. Tendulkar obviously is one of thie all time greats but as fans of India we should hope that Virat in 20 years can be considered in the same league. Virat has 'it' and has shown that consistently, more so than any other youngster for India on the international stage. I am a big fan of anyone who has proved they can win matches for India in the future.

  • POSTED BY Syed_ishaq on | June 9, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Do not compare Virat Kohli with Tendulkar/Sehwag/Dravid etc.,He is a differnt type of player but, cope with the pressure and it is long long way to go. At the moment India's bench strength is very very good and in near future Raina, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Murli Vijay will grasp the places of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman in all the form of present day cricket like; T20, ODI and Test matches only slight problem in bowling department.

  • POSTED BY anandbv on | June 9, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    Love this guy. Feet grounded despite all the fame and that is THE sign that he will go on for a long time. Great goin Virat!!!! you are definitely a captain material...but will need to learn from others in the trade.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    @Kairava Perhaps you got Kohli's lineage wrong.Kohli is a Khatri surname not a 'Jatt' one.I would like Kohli to swear after getting to a ton though.

  • POSTED BY dutta.neil on | June 9, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Rohit Sharma will captain India and will be the bigger star in the future... Mark my words!!

  • POSTED BY kingcobra85 on | June 9, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Kohli is a class act,,,He is so cool even his hairstyle looks fab even after running all day. You are going to break some records man! Dravid,Sachin and Co be vary of your batting records :).No disrepect to any of the legends but this guy is some serious talent.Junior Spinner picks up 4 wickets senior guy without wicket and goes for 50 runs...Time to give ashwin a chance.How long will Harbhajan keep youngsters out of the team.Its time for him to concentrate on tests and give chance to youngsters.By next world cup bhajji will be 35 how are we grooming young talent by keeping him on the bench..

  • POSTED BY thebrownie on | June 9, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Dear Virat,

    You are a hairy dude. Please keep your shirt on at all times.

    Thanks.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    I have a different take on the Tendulkar-Kohli comparison. Though I wouldn't want to compare Tendulkar with kohli, I have a dream that Kohli should blossom into a player like a VVS or Ganguly, the two most reliable players in crunch situation. They may not have scored as many runs as sachin, but all the runs scored by these warriors are worth their weight iin gold. Apart from the century in the Sharjah final 1998, I would like someone to point out a noteable sachin innings in a chase in a final. Recent proof would be the world cup final 2011 - yet another flop. So Kohli, you better be a VVS or a Ganguly rather than a Sachin.

  • POSTED BY kapilesh23 on | June 9, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    There are two things about Kohli one is good and another is bad .The good thing that he want's to do well in every single match he plays .he is quite ambitious and the bad thing on which kohli doesn't have any control is media hype .Many players in the past got this kind of hypes and from being a really good players they became bad or baddest .some examples being irfan pathan ,kambli etc .Media and we indian supporters should not hype him so much its really bad in the long run .

  • POSTED BY rairatank on | June 9, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Hey one more thing, I just read virat is 3rd fastest indian to reach 2000 runs. Means other 2 are greater batsman than God becoz they competed it faster than Virat and Virat is being compare to God?

  • POSTED BY rairatank on | June 9, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    great, compare virat to God? oh you mean comparison is after 56 matches. How many tests virat played till today- answer is 0. This is comparison. Today any tom/dick/harry can play 20-20 or one day cricket becoz now indian superstars are really reluctant to play that against weaker opposition.In last 2 years how many one day games God/Viru/Gauti played and if they are not playing you need likes of Virat/Rohit/Vijay to replace them against teams like WI/Newziland(Home)/Zimb. etc and if any batsman scores heavily doesn't mean you can compare him with God. Any way good luck to Virat, he can be future of Indian cricket but needs to control his on field agression and off field show off & don't follow Yuvi becoz Yuvi was and is best Indian batsman those 31 yrs and below.But?

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | June 9, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    A definite captaincy material..there is that X factor about him. He has limited ability compared to someone like Rohit whom even legend like Warne praised recently but virat definitely has loads more of positive attitude, hunger and ambition to do well. He is generation X of Indian cricketer.

  • POSTED BY rambo94 on | June 9, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    Good going Virat...if he continues the good work ,I'm sure one day he will be one of the the mainstay of Indian batting lineup...he is very well talented and with proper guidance he will end up being an excellent player..

  • POSTED BY cricinme on | June 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Instead of commenting on Kohli, I would like to say something on West Indies cricket and Mr Tony Cozier. Though I am an Indian, Tony Cozier has been my most adorable commentrator be it on Radio or TV. I have been listening to him since my childhood days on the Radio and now on TV. He is involved I beleive not less than 40 years with West Indies cricket and has seen both the Highs and Lows of West Indies cricket and has never been biased towards the West Indies cricket. He has an immaculate voice and never screams like todays commentators likes of Ravi Shastri or Rameez Raja. I never miss to watch any matches of West Indies shown on TV just for two reasons - listen to Tony Cozier and watch the lovable West Indies crowd. Even when the West Indies cricket is at its lowest ebb, we see them cheering the players and watching matches in an carefree attitude. Hats off to True Gentleman - Tony Cozier and the great West Indies cricket fans. I just wish they build up a team like the 1970's

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | June 9, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    Hi Sriram, as Kohli matures on, so is your way of writing. I like the way you start an article, continue it and the way you finish an article is mesmerising. There were days, when I wanted to become a cricket like famous icons but now I want to become a writer like you. Your article, I am sure, if read by the people concerned (in this case, Virat Kohli), will preserve it as their treasure. Even the way you criticize some players, you make sure that you are not too harsh but only intended to point out the mistakes. Well done Sriram.

  • POSTED BY indianzen on | June 9, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    its a way too early... Press is doing badly by highlighting so much that the expectations are huge from them, there by not letting them play their natural game..... We dont need Pollards to Steyns, we need player who are consistent in all the games we play... If all batsmen score 50 in every game and if all bowler dont give more than 5 runs an over, can INDIA loose any match ?

  • POSTED BY t20superstars on | June 9, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    well guyzzzz, talking about virat kohli???? i have sum things to say.......well, Virat Kohli is not a left handed batsman as yuvraj singh, but he is a right handed batsman as ms dhoni...he is not a cool guy as ms dhoni, but he is a short-tempered person as yuvraj singh, he is not as aggressive as yousaf pathan, but is much aggressive as yuvraj singh....so, yuvraj's future position in the indian XI is not much secure.....BEWARE Yuvraj Singh....your seat is now a bit HOT...so, before you jump out.....Kohli will have his hands on that HoT seat!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Anandsai on | June 9, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Isn't this article about how kohli has matured from his initial days? Why compare Sachin and Kohli just because there was a mention of Tendulkar in this article?

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    This just shows that virat kohli needs to play in test side, it beats me why they have chosen pujara and raina ahead of him for test team in the past. It is perfect time for kohli to come into test side, he is a class act, also in the next 3 odi's id like to see shikhar dhawan dropped, so badrinath can open batting and bring in manoj tiwary at 6. DONT WASTE BADRINATH AT NUMBER 6!!!! waste of exceptional talent and skilled, inform batsman, let him open and score 100's!!! shikhar dhawan made a good 51 in the other game but doesnt look like a current prospect he can wait his turn later when he is a bit better, with sehwag and ghambir, makund gonna be around a long long time they dont need to groom dhawan as opener, what they need is badrinath to replace the retiring tendulkar!! I hope badri and makund make massive runs in the test series!!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Comparing Sachin's early record with Virat's current record doesnt make sense. When Sachin started playing, cricket was a much more balanced game between bat and ball. There used to be some assistance in the pitches around the world for the bowlers. The scoring rates were much lower. 220-250 used to be a match winning score. These days even 350 doesnt assure you a win. 436 was chased down against the world's best bowling line up. So damn with the comparisons. Sachin is the best!

  • POSTED BY devsingh on | June 9, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Time will tell...Virat is comparable to genius Sachin or not!!!! Stop comparing him with Sachin...guys!!!!...

  • POSTED BY CricEshwar on | June 9, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Please do not compare Virat and Sachin in talent, performance or personality. They are extremely different and very good at what they do. It's not Virat's fault to not have played when Sachin was India's lone Saviour, with Sachin in his earlier days 35 was a decent avg in ODIs. Virat definitely looks like captaincy material but it would be unfair to put pressure on him at this stage. He just got his test cap, let him take challenges one after another, we just have to wait sit back and see how he comes out of it. I still feel Rohit has more ability as a batsman, but Virat is more assured and confident.

  • POSTED BY div09 on | June 9, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Sachin is the best. Kohli is nothing against Tendulkar but YES after sachin retires the whole nation will depend on Kohli. If Kohli keeps his good form going then YES, He can be better than Sachin but I doubt it that Kohli will keep up with his form. Sachin controlled cricket for 23 years but Kohli's form will not go for even 15 years. So Sachin is 100% the best.................or actually I could be better than him.....:) LOL JOKES.

  • POSTED BY rohanblue on | June 9, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    lucky virat, he has runs and 'sarah jane dias'...... carry on dude.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    The best thing about Virat kohli is he doesn't gets carried away with the form in which he is...he does'nt tries to do any exaggerating thing......just plays in his limits ....and that what separating him form other youngsters.....One or 2 moments of genius is not good for international sport...what matters is consistency.....this is how u cement your place in the team......Good going Virat ...keep it up .....its a long way to go ......

  • POSTED BY prasd on | June 9, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Mature answers by person who was once upon a time was being written off - as a person he shows his mettle - in batting and speaking to press (i hope he thinks on his feet while answering the scribes, who then interpret it to their convenience!) - well done Virat, let your heads be on your shoulder always..

  • POSTED BY KAIRAVA on | June 9, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Kohli is a mix of Yuvraj (talent & temperament) & Dhoni (consistency). But just like fellow punjabi-Yuvraj, he is too expressive when some unexpected event happens on the play field. On the other hand, Dhoni is a beacon and role model for all the youngsters who aspire to lead their team. Kohli has got that volatile "punjabi-Jat" blood in him which is not what Team India can afford in the long run if it hopes to successful in the future too.

  • POSTED BY Sumeet.Gupta on | June 9, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    I foresee a future test middle order place for Virat. My test line up 3 years down the line - Vijay,Gambhir,Kohli,Sehwag,Badri,Rohit Sharma,Dhoni,Bhajji,Ishant Sharma,Misra,Zaheer. I would also like to see how Aravind progresses under watchful eyes of Prasad. I think Mithun was a talent to watch out for but he was belted all over in IPL and needs to regain confidence. Aaron, Yadav and Patel will be my backups for pace and Ashwin, Ojha for spin. There's no better sight than watching a leg spinner like Misra. But R Sharma needs to get his act together, otherwise Pujara and Rahane are there waiting in the wings. Sehwag at #4 since he's always expressed his desire to play in the middle order. All in all, a good picture for Indian cricket when the big guns retire.

  • POSTED BY Meeshakaran on | June 9, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    Virat Kohli may be a good Batsman BUT Suresh Raina is More Composed & Cool headed and is a Great replacement for Dhoni.

    BUT as of for another 5 years INDIA DOES NOT NEED TO change Captain as DHONI is doing great Job and is exceptional.

  • POSTED BY Thomas_George on | June 9, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    It is interesting when people start bringing up quality of opposition in any argument. Sachin Tendulkar was given an opportunity that not many get -- play for India without being dropped from the age of 16. As Viral said, Tendulkar had not scored a one day century at 56 matches, and he still could make the team easily because of the mediocrity that surrounded him. Virat Kohli cannot easily make the Indian team today because of the quality that surrounds him. Can anyone say that Virat may not have produced the same performances against better attacks? Why do the same people who say that Virat does not compare with Tendulkar insist that his runs are better than a Bradman, Gavaskar, or Richards who dealt with good fast bowlers on under-prepared pitches than today with no protective gear? Virat Kolhi is a bright star in Indian cricket today, can't we all be content with that?

  • POSTED BY devsingh on | June 9, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    I don't know why you guys are comparing Virat with Sachin. One gentleman said that " fter 56 One Dayers, Sachin Tendulkar scored 1520 runs at an average of 32.34 with 0 century. Virat Kohli after 56 one dayers has 2037 runs at an average of 44.28 with 5 centuries. ". Do you know at what order Tendulkar used to bat those days? He used to come at no. 5 or 6. When you come at that order you have very less chance to score runs and centuries.. Virat has always batted at 1,2 ,3 & 4 which means that he has got more chances. In SL tour (somewhere around 1994 or 1995 after playing around 80 matches), he got his first oppurtunity to bat as an opnener and got his first century. And then he never looked back and rest is the history...He is true legend....and I don't see any one can closer to him with next 15-20 years!!!!!

    I don't disagree with you that Virat has tremendous talent. But its too early to compare him with the legend like Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY abc3 on | June 9, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    People are forgetting main thing when replying to @virat_patel guy. Where did Sachin play his first 74 games.His slot in the batting order was No. 6 and 5. Where as Virat played most of the matches at N0.3 There ends the matter. Guys batting in top 3 have more opportunities to score big than guys coming in at No.5 & 6 with limited opportunities.

  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | June 9, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Maturing of Virat is a stale topic by now. He has done enough to show that he has the ability coupled with the attitude to belong at the big stage. Having said that, no one is perfect, so he will continue to have areas to improve. But that aside, lets face one thing: this series is speaking volumes of the decline in WI cricket. An Indian team made up of a number of players who do not belong to the international stage are able to quite easily defeat the WI team. Not sure how life can be injected into a series which is failing to hold the attention of even avid cricket followers!

  • POSTED BY abc3 on | June 9, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    @Virat Tendulkar came in number 6 and 5 for his first 756 ODI's. You don't expect a guy coming at that number to make 2000 runs with the limited opportunities that he will get that that slot. Only guys coming in top 3 will have that opportunity to score big and maintain high average. Get the facts straight and anybody with some cricket knowledge should know these kinds of facts before posting some ridiculous comparisons and not compare apples to oranges.

  • POSTED BY Notredam on | June 9, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Guys as far as future is concerned,, in cricket Vice captain is not that inportant,,senior players give more so advice to the captain...As far i am concerned..Captain is center figure in international cricket...So for that role..Dhoni is the bets and shud remain captain next 4-5 years at least,,Raina,,Kohli can supplement him...and grow under his leadership style..and try not to get fame ,, money to thier minds..which is very important..

  • POSTED BY MarkBobbyChandy on | June 9, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @Viral Patel, Just compare how old virat and sachin were when they both played 56 one dayers.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    Super star in making.. Trivia - Yesterday Virat Kohli became the 2nd Fastest Indian to reach 2000 ODI Runs in 53 innings. Sourav Ganguly and Navjot Singh Sidhu jointly hold the record for the fastest to reach this landmark. They both achieved it in 52 innings.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Seriously comparing sachin with virat is absurd, im not a sachin fanatic but everyone can see there was much difference in quality of bowlers when sachin made his debut. sachin batted against the wasim n waqar arguably one of the best opening pair of all time. How many bowlers like waqar, wasim, walsh, amrbose mcdermot, mcgrath, donald the list is endless we have in current cricketing world, the answers is only a few they too are not always as lethal as gr8 bowlers of old. Today most pitches are nightmare for bowlers so pl dont try to compare a gr8 batsman like sachin with virat. virat or raina is just a good batsman who have lots to improve before we compare with the likes of sachin dravid n laxman.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    @Pawan...Dear Friend, That was the end of the match- the last wicket...That means Inda is in the final...! Any young cricket will be excited...!

  • POSTED BY rustyryan on | June 9, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Kohli is too good a player to be spoiled by his own aggression. I hope he shows his aggression in his batting rather than on the field like Sreesanth. Remeber Sachin's aggression against Henry olanga in Sharjah. The reason ppl remember Sachin more than Ponting was the attitude of the later. Hope Kohli would prove me wrong and become one of the greatest Indian talents.

  • POSTED BY Sandman5five on | June 9, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Honestly, all this talk about captaincy should stop. Just let him be! Let him play and develop his game, cement a spot on the Test team. Then, when the time is right, Dhoni can hand over the torch to Virat. For now, just play on man!

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    awesome, very happy to see tht he learned from his past mistakes so soon now tht's a hallmark of a gud fine cricketer setting his priorities right :) he has it in him to be the next gr8 indian star, and if he keeps on goin like this we wouldn't have to worry much after the big 3 go :) best wishes always to kohli he speaks pretty well too in public , can be a gud captain if given the chnce :)

  • POSTED BY srini701 on | June 9, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    This guy will DEFINITELY captain India and captain them for a very long time to come. He's more ambitious than a Raina and is much more leadership material than Raina, Rohit or a Pujara. 5 years from now, that's the Indian middle order too for Tests...Virat, Raina, Pujara and Rohit! The future of Indian cricket is safe and bright so long as youngsters like Kohli are around!

  • POSTED BY RageshPMenon on | June 9, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    Kohli is a gr8 player and a fluent batsman. I like to see his cover drive which is most elegant.Really he is a gr8 aspect of indian cricket. He shud be in for all formats of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    There's some way to go, both on maturity terms and rounding off his game. However, credit to him, Virat Kohli has definitely shown himself to be hungrier than Rohit Sharma , Suresh Raina, or Saurabh Tiwary. Talent isn't in short supply, nor are the captaincy skills ( he captained India U-19 to the cup). Natural aggression does take over at times but he is learning to keep a cool head. A thanks is due to Kumble and Dravid in RCB camp too - possibly two of the best mentors about how to keep yourself grounded amidst instant fame.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Virat is a legend in making. Everyone has different way to approach the game. Virat cann't be a Tendulkar/Sehwag/Dravid. He knows that very well and that is why he is not trying to be like them. But he has to learn a lot of tricks from these Greats. Definitely he is the future captain of Indian cricket. Wish him luck for that, but he has to wait to get that (not now). Now his first job should be to get a test place and needs to cement that. Then with the passing of time he will get what he wants.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I do not care who is captain of India team so long as they are bringing glory to india by winning tournaments. He he

    Love live india

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | June 9, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    If Dhoni has set the bar for cool captaincy and a positive frame of mind, it is Raina that would come to mind automatically to follow MSD. Kohli is far too volatile for my liking, and his new cool is a studied cool, not a natural cool. Kohli loses it when things are not going his way, shows the opposition that he is upset, and doesn't make cricket a happy experience - just look at when he plays for Bangalore in the IPL - angry and too wound up, like the rest of those unsmiling losers. He might become a lot more mature and all that, and I wish him well. Raina may not have the words to express himself like Kohli, but he has all the attributes I would look for in a leader. He enjoys everybody else's successes, reads the game very well, stays positive and does not do one thing unsportingly. The leader of the world's best team should do a lot more than play well.

  • POSTED BY harshacc on | June 9, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Puff piece , if I ever saw one.A little too melodramatic

  • POSTED BY Ravi.Wadekar on | June 9, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Remember, It was Sourav Ganguly who defined the new era of Indian cricketers by being taking Aussies & English sledgers head-on. Virat Kohli is in the same mold. This is plain rubbish to call him 'no-captaincy-material' just because his style of leading the team differs from MSD. If given a chance he will lead the team with aggression & confidance. He has everything that a India would be looking in its skipper: - Technically correct - A very goog fielder - good enough bowler to chip in with 4-5 overs - A realist who guages the situation very well - Talks well & would handle media any hour of the day. For me he should've been VC for this ODI squad. Hope to see Sourav Ganguly version 2.0 soon in leading role.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    @pawan:: this guy is from young india....he can enjoy in the way he wish.... n he s not 30+....

  • POSTED BY bismoy on | June 9, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    @Viral Patel Let not compare tendulkar to all and sundry,,,,sachin played at time india batting was weakest and standard of bowling quite high,,,,,

    Like to see see how kohli,rohit would have done against like of ambrose,walse and malcom marshall at there prime???? not this waek WI attack with sammi as bowler,,,

    No comparison sachin is best rest don't matter,,,,,

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    @ viral patel dnt cmp sachn wit kohli. At debut sac was @ an age of an X-Xl std studnt (16 ye old). And hd 2 fac da grt bowers dat da crkt hd evr sen

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Kohli needs to stay at number 3 in the order, it is awkward when sachin and sehwag open and then ghambir bats at 3 then that means kohli has to move to 4, which i feel is a spot to low for someone of his ability. Kohli needs to be in the test team at 3 or 4 also, he needs to replace dravid up the order, in current form he is much better choice then dravid, but dravids experience will be needed in this series as many senior players are absent. Badrinath needs to cement his place this series because there is a huge gap at number 6 for some1 good to come in and take that position for the next 5-6 years. If badri is successful then when vvs and tendulkar retire he can move up to 5. future X1, Makund, Sehwag, Ghambir, Kohli, Badrinath, pujara/rahane/rohit, dhoni, then bowlers ashwin and harbhajan then whichever quick bowlers are in form. (stay away from sreesanth) India is in extremely good stead with the batting, wicket keeper, and spinners for the next 7-8 years, need fast bowlers tho

  • POSTED BY Nipaos on | June 9, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Viral - That is such a immature comparision. Did you consider the pitches sachin played on, the bowlers he faced, the role he was supposed to perform and the strike rate at which he scored those runs. I am not scrapping of virat's potential but such straight comparisions never give a true picture.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @pawan:at 22 even tendulkar was fiery even though he was not screaming expletives. give everybody their time.they will mature. he is the best U-25 player in the world today.!

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    After 56 One Dayers, Sachin Tendulkar scored 1520 runs at an average of 32.34 with 0 century. Virat Kohli after 56 one dayers has 2037 runs at an average of 44.28 with 5 centuries.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Virat is the future captain for India. It was a mistake to give deputy role to Bhaji who is not in form. It must be given to an in-form as compliment.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Definitely a promising prospect for India. Would like to see him become captain one day. He has the talent and if these press conferences are anything to go by, then he will have the media tucked in his pocket as well.

  • POSTED BY bismoy on | June 9, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Kohli is not captaincy material,Raina is far better choice...kool and totally committed...Raina is closest to dhoni in captaincy...hence selector has done great job by making raina as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    All the right moves? Have you seen how he reacts after a wicket falls? Just watch his reaction after he took Mishbah's catch in that semifinal. He is screaming out expletives and venting his anger for all to see. Is this how Tendulkar or Sehwag react after a wicket falls? Kohli still has a lot of maturing to do.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Future of the Indian cricket.. Very well played !

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Future of the Indian cricket.. Very well played !

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    All the right moves? Have you seen how he reacts after a wicket falls? Just watch his reaction after he took Mishbah's catch in that semifinal. He is screaming out expletives and venting his anger for all to see. Is this how Tendulkar or Sehwag react after a wicket falls? Kohli still has a lot of maturing to do.

  • POSTED BY bismoy on | June 9, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Kohli is not captaincy material,Raina is far better choice...kool and totally committed...Raina is closest to dhoni in captaincy...hence selector has done great job by making raina as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Definitely a promising prospect for India. Would like to see him become captain one day. He has the talent and if these press conferences are anything to go by, then he will have the media tucked in his pocket as well.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Virat is the future captain for India. It was a mistake to give deputy role to Bhaji who is not in form. It must be given to an in-form as compliment.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    After 56 One Dayers, Sachin Tendulkar scored 1520 runs at an average of 32.34 with 0 century. Virat Kohli after 56 one dayers has 2037 runs at an average of 44.28 with 5 centuries.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    @pawan:at 22 even tendulkar was fiery even though he was not screaming expletives. give everybody their time.they will mature. he is the best U-25 player in the world today.!

  • POSTED BY Nipaos on | June 9, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Viral - That is such a immature comparision. Did you consider the pitches sachin played on, the bowlers he faced, the role he was supposed to perform and the strike rate at which he scored those runs. I am not scrapping of virat's potential but such straight comparisions never give a true picture.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Kohli needs to stay at number 3 in the order, it is awkward when sachin and sehwag open and then ghambir bats at 3 then that means kohli has to move to 4, which i feel is a spot to low for someone of his ability. Kohli needs to be in the test team at 3 or 4 also, he needs to replace dravid up the order, in current form he is much better choice then dravid, but dravids experience will be needed in this series as many senior players are absent. Badrinath needs to cement his place this series because there is a huge gap at number 6 for some1 good to come in and take that position for the next 5-6 years. If badri is successful then when vvs and tendulkar retire he can move up to 5. future X1, Makund, Sehwag, Ghambir, Kohli, Badrinath, pujara/rahane/rohit, dhoni, then bowlers ashwin and harbhajan then whichever quick bowlers are in form. (stay away from sreesanth) India is in extremely good stead with the batting, wicket keeper, and spinners for the next 7-8 years, need fast bowlers tho

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    @ viral patel dnt cmp sachn wit kohli. At debut sac was @ an age of an X-Xl std studnt (16 ye old). And hd 2 fac da grt bowers dat da crkt hd evr sen