From a brash, restless youngster, Virat Kohli has matured as a cricketer and his match-winning 81 against the West Indies in Port of Spain on Wednesday showed the youngster is determined to make the most of the opportunities that come his way.
"I have been given a chance to play for India, which is not a small thing because you have 20 others with same talent 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," said Kohli, who was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
Kohli, who scored 2037 ODI runs enroute to his 81, said he is determined to do well and his image of being arrogant is now a thing of the past.
"I was always determined to do well. Probably what I was doing off the field was not on at that time. I probably got carried away. Someone or the other always tells 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," he said.
The 22-year-old Delhi boy said that he likes to reply his critics, who always questioned his attitude.
"I think I have answered that too much. 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," he said.
Asked if he was trying to match his senior team mates Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag, Kohli said: "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."
Kohli wants to pursue his own style of play, which he has realised in the last one and half years.
"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," he said.
Asked about his leadership qualities, Kohli said: "I can't say anything about it (leadership quality). I am honest in whatever question is thrown at me at every press conference. I don't really work on it."