Fresh from a 246-run victory against England in the second Test at Vizag, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has shed light on the weight of pressure involved with the top job. The 28-year old, who was named Player of the Match for his adeptness with the bat, admitted that he will estimate his durability as captain after 3 or 4 years.
During the post-match press conference, Kohli attributed his improved shot-selection and new found prowess in building longer Test knocks to the responsibility demanded from a captain.
Kohli felt, “It's a difficult thing to detach yourself from being captain when you go out there to bat, especially when you are playing (only) five batters. The responsibility obviously increases much more. But, it also makes me not hit the ball in the air which I probably prefer in Test cricket. Honestly, I don't feel the need to do that because I believe in my ability to play on the ground and still score at a healthy rate.”
He added, “So, I don't need to try any fancy things plus I also feel the more you stay on the wicket, the more time you spend, things start getting easier. That's the whole plan to actually go out there and see what's happening, not necessarily have your plans of attacking bowlers but to understand how the situation is playing out. (It’s important to) stay calm on the wicket (and) try to spend as much time as possible.”
Upon succeeding MS Dhoni at the helm, Kohli has made a stellar start to his Test captaincy with series victories in Sri Lanka and West Indies complementing home triumphs against the likes of South Africa and New Zealand. In a far cry from the safety-first approach of his predecessor, he has shown the willingness to continue pressing for wins irrespective of the situation.
Having taken India to the top of the Test rankings after more than five years, there have been calls for Kohli to be appointed as the limited-overs captain too. However, he has found the role of star batsman easier to handle than taking up the white-ball captaincy as well.
The right-hander admitted, “In other formats, it's relatively easy on the mind to prepare because you are only thinking about batting. Obviously, you have to give inputs on the field but it's not necessary that you have to take those decisions, you can give suggestions.”
When asked about his long-term plans, he revealed, “To keep a check on each and everything and then to think about on your batting as well, it does take a toll on you. But right now, I am pretty fine. Maybe in three (or) four years time, I can analyse how much load I am feeling. But at the moment, it's coming along nicely so I am pretty okay with it.”
Kohli led from the front with scores of 167 and 81 on a Vizag surface filled with uneven bounce to help India take a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series against England. He will hope to sustain his form and propel the hosts to another dominant performance when the third Test begins in Mohali from Saturday.