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Kohli learning to tone down aggression from ice-cool Dhoni

cricket Updated: Jun 11, 2012 01:53 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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The last six-months have brought a drastic change in Virat Kohli. Though the aggression as a player is still there he now appears to be making a conscious effort to check his emotions, a transformation he attributes to talking a lot to national team skipper, MS Dhoni.

"Since I became the vice-captain, I have been speaking to Dhoni a lot about it. He is someone who is always around that calm line. It is important to learn such things from such important people. He keeps telling me that once I stay around that line I would keep improving as a cricketer, once that graph goes too much above or drops you end up putting yourself under pressure. Just stay calm, find a balance," said Kohli, who played a game for his employers ONGC in the Lala Raghubir Hot Weather tournament on Sunday.

Aggressive player
The 23-year-old Delhi player was docked 50 percent of his match fee during the Sydney Test for showing his middle finger to heckling fans and his aggressive, over-the-top, celebrations on reaching a fifty or hundred. But the selectors pinned their faith in his leadership qualities by naming him Dhoni's deputy for the Asia Cup in Dhaka.

Kohli accepts his mistakes "You learn with time. Initially, I reacted in a way I shouldn't have. When I look back now, it was not natural, I didn't intend to do that. The build up and the pressure or a special occasion makes it tough to control the aggression. As a young guy I am learning in international cricket, and I have learnt from my mistakes when I crossed the line sometimes."

That change has come since he scored 75 in the Perth Test and followed it up with his maiden Test hundred in Adelaide. "I stopped reading papers. In the first two matches, I was getting influenced by what was being written and said about me. I just blocked that out of my system. I kept telling myself I have eight international hundreds which can't be a fluke."

India are due to play 10 Tests at home this year before they tour South Africa in 2013. "It would be great preparation for confidence. Playing at home would be a perfect platform and it will make you secure when looking to play at overseas," he added.