India Test skipper Virat Kohli talks about why he sees no reason to curb his aggressive instinct, what it means to lead the young team and why Rahane is a key member of the batting lineup. Excerpts from an interview to BCCI.TV:
On his aggressive approach
As a batsman I have always been responsible with the way I play my cricket and it comes from wanting to win the game for the team every time I play. So I don’t think I need to change too much in that aspect. I think that is one of the major reasons that the board thought that I could be the man to take up responsibility for the team. It all boils down to how you play your cricket eventually and that’s the way I have always played my cricket, be it on the field, be it the way I bat, I always give my 100 per cent.
On the Sri Lanka tour
It’s basically my first full assignment as Test captain. In Bangladesh it was a one-odd Test match it wasn’t a full-fledged series. So it will be a new challenge for me and the whole team because we have such a young squad and so many new players looking to build their careers. It is an exciting challenge to start together as a new unit. It is exciting for me and as a team.
On India A coach Dravid
It’s always nice to be around great players like Rahul Dravid, because just their presence is so calming and so reassuring and even if you don’t want to speak about the game, just having them around makes you feel good about your own cricket because just looking at them you can learn so much more. I think being around him is always a good feeling.
On opting to play India A game
I wanted some kind of momentum going into the Sri Lanka tour. We have had a decent break, I have had three weeks off. I have had lots of time off the game, which was required to get mentally fresh and now with a week of training going into this India A game and a week or two of training after that as well, I think it will be the best preparation for me as far as preparing for the Sri Lanka tour is concerned.
I really like Ajinkya (Rahane) as a batsman and as a fielder as well. Really nice to have a guy, who has so much energy and puts in 100 percent every time he steps on the field, every ball that he plays, every ball that he fields, he is always there for the team. He is one guy who I feel will be a very important factor as far as Team India doing well in Test cricket is concerned, because he brings that solidarity in the middle order, coming straight after me.
We have lot of experience with the spin department. (Ravichandran) Ashwin has been wonderful for us. Harbhajan Singh has been a match-winner for India in Test matches and one-day cricket. So it’s great to have his vision, his ideas and his confidence back into the team.
On fast bowlers’ role
I think not just the spinners but the fast bowlers will also play a massive role in Sri Lanka. I think with the ball reversing later on, the fast bowlers have been the ones who have come in and given those crucial breakthroughs for the Test match to be won.