From Thursday, Virat Kohli will traverse on a new path he seems destined to succeed. Just 24, he is the India captain in the making and is sure to take over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, perhaps in one format, sooner than later. For now, he will have to be content being the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, an ideal stage to learn the nuances of captaincy.
To their credit, RCB were the first to identity Virat as a player of special quality. He has lived up to expectations, more so after it was believed that he had attitude problems.
In 2008, he was a brash 19-year-old stepping into the big league of international cricket. That arrogance stemmed from the fact that he had just led the India under-19 team to a World Cup victory, and had played a stellar role in it.
Since then, his transformation into a brilliant batsman and leader in the making has been nothing short of impressive.
Ahead of his first match as full-time captain — he had led in the absence of Daniel Vettori last year — Virat was his usual — brimming with confidence.
“I have always enjoyed captaincy. Last year as well and even the year before that whatever chances I got, I enjoyed it,” he said, ahead of RCB's first game against the Mumbai Indians.
“But this time it's a full-time thing; getting together the team composition and all that you know is pretty exciting. It's not something I take as a pressure thing but something that I enjoy and am honoured to captain players who have been playing for more than 20 years. Growing up I have seen them on TV and now I get a chance to captain them in IPL. It's a huge honour for me and hopefully I can make the team win,” he added.
Virat's biggest strength is his self belief.
He has always backed himself to come out unscathed in tough situations, and he has done that more than once. Virat said he picked up the quality from Anil Kumble, under whom he played for the RCB in two seasons.
“One thing he (Kumble) believed was in giving 100% on the field. And that's something I believe in as well,” he explained.
Virat added he was carrying on some of Kumble's methods. “Anil had always faith in the players who had been selected in the XI and kept pushing them to perform well. If he saw the players were down, he would pull the team load all by himself. That was something that was really striking about his captaincy and that's something I would like to inculcate in our team as well,” he said.