Far from being bogged down by captaincy, Virat Kohli said he is looking forward to leading an under-fire Indian cricket team in the Asia Cup starting Tuesday even though it is a tough position to be in.
Kohli has been made stand-in captain for the regional mega-event after regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is under the scanner following the team’s dismal showing in the recent tours of South Africa and New Zealand, was forced out due to a side strain.
“I don’t think this is anything compared to what he has gone through in the past few years,” Kohli said while addressing the media after the team’s arrival in Dhaka.
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“I am captain for just one tournament. It is completely different from regularly captaining the side. When you win, you’re praised, when you lose, you’re criticised. It is all a part of it.
“I am not in a position right now to experience all that. I have got this one-odd opportunity like I did in the past as well. I am sure it is a very tough position to be in. You have to be ready to take all the criticism and praise that comes your way,” he added.
India will open their Asia Cup campaign on Wednesday against Bangladesh at Fatullah.
The 25-year-old batsman, whose fine form was one of the few positives that India could latch on to during their winless streak in South Africa and New Zealand, said he is excited about leading the side.
“I have only been captain for about eight games till now. It went pretty good but this is a big tournament. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. We have got a young group of guys and some exciting players,” Kohli said.
“I think that excites me to have a group that I can have a chat with and be on the same page. It’s important to have an understanding. It’s really exciting for me to improve the record which is already good. I’m looking forward to the tournament.”
When asked about the much-anticipated match against Pakistan on March 2, Kohli said the team’s target was to win the tournament and not just one grudge match against the traditional rivals.
“Obviously we are here to win the tournament. We haven’t just come here to play one game and go back home, that’s not our aim. Our aim is to win every game that we play. A game against Pakistan is always a hyped game for us, obviously a big pressure match.
“We take every game the same way. You know, the aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and make sure the people are happy,” he said.