India's under-19 World Cup winning captain is living a dream, thanks to the IPL. The Delhi lad is slowly making an impression after unimpressive show in the first few games. With scores of 38 and 34 in his last two innings for Bangalore, Kohli has lived up to his captain Rahul Dravid's expectations.
“T20 is all about going out there and giving your best,” Kohli told HT here. “In the first few matches, I went out to slog. It was a matter of hitting whatever that came your way but it did not happen. In the last two matches, I have got the opportunity of playing more overs.”
Kohli had wished to get into some IPL team to realise his dream of playing with his idols. “All those who play for the country are my idols, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher — I am really happy that my dream has come true. To share the dressing room with players I have grown up watching on TV and to interact with them has been a great experience. There are a whole range of international stars who you can only dream of play with.”
Kohli has had a taste of T20 when he played for Delhi in the national tournament in 2007. “Playing for Delhi did help me. But IPL is a different level altogether where you face international players. If you have to outplay them, some amount of T20 experience is required. I have benefited from the national T20.”
The right-handed attacking batsman said that IPL was a good platform for under-19 players to graduate into the senior level. “IPL means a lot to me. You are playing in front of the selectors. And if you do well against international bowlers, it will do you a world of good,” he said.
Kohli is not really affected by Bangalore's poor show. “It does bother me but one should not be affected by it. It is a game, after all. But you feel bad when you lose.”
Kohli missed out on a chance to impress his home crowd, Delhi, last Wednesday. He came in at number seven when only one over was left and there was little he could do. “When I am playing for any team, I give hundred per cent, even if it means playing against my Ranji Trophy state at a ground I grew up playing. Every game matters to me,” he said.
Kohli is confident that his team will find the winning combination in the remaining seven league matches. “Our motive is to win all the remaining matches. We are looking forward to building a combination that does well,” he said.