Virat Kohli plays a shot against New Zealand in their first ODI at McLean Park in Napier. (AP Photo)
Often criticised for letting his emotions get the better of him even on the field, Indian batsman Virat Kohli on Tuesday conceded that he made a few mistakes early on in his career, but has now realised that "use of words" is not necessary in a face-off.
"I have made a few mistakes early on that I admit myself and there have been times when I have gone over the top and done things that you shouldn't do in international cricket, but that's how you learn," Kohli said.
The 25-year-old, admired for his stupendous batting achievements but criticised for being too aggressive in confrontational situations, said he has matured quite a bit.
"In the last game, the bowler gave me a stare and I gave him a stare back. I didn't say anything. I have realised it is important to make your presence felt but it doesn't always have to be with words. It can be with your bat," Kohli said, referring to the opening ODI against New Zealand in which he scored a fine hundred albeit in a losing cause.
"I know now that the opposition wants to get me out, that's why they are going to try to rattle me and try to get me into a fight but that gives me one more reason not to get out. So I pretty much like a battle, but I have realised the use of words is not necessary all the time and I'd rather let my bat do the talking now," he added.
Asked about the changed approach, Kohli said he is evolving and learning to be more composed.
"People have to realise I am not 21 anymore. I am growing up. I am not that immature that I don't know where to control my aggression. Obviously, if I wasn't able to control my aggression, I would be nowhere. My career would have been over before it started," he said.