‘At 19-20, we were not even half the players’: Virat Kohli picks out three youngsters for special praise
India skipper Virat Kohli hailed young players like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill and stated that the maturity and confident they possess is beyond their age. Kohli also hailed the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a stepping stone for young India cricketers to shine on the big stage. The India captain feels rubbing shoulders with the best players in the world help youngsters in honing their skills.
“They are amazing. The level of confidence that they have is amazing to see,” Kohli told Times of India. “As I have mentioned so many times before, at 19-20, we were not even half the players these guys are.”
“Skills have developed because of exposure to tournaments like the IPL. It’s the best thing that can happen to a cricketer.
“They are so confident by the time they come here that they learn very quickly from their mistakes, because they have already played in front of so many people. But the intent has to be that ‘I am using this platform to play for my country’. And I think that these guys are in that zone,” he added.
Kohli also revealed the atmosphere inside the dressing room and how the seniors players interact with upcoming stars. The India captain stated he tells the young turks to not repeat the mistakes which he committed during his initial years.
“Daatne wala mahaul ab toh change room mein hain hi nahin (the culture of scolding isn’t there in the dressing room.) As friendly as I am with Kuldeep (Yadav), I am the same with MS (Dhoni),” Kohli said
“The atmosphere is such that anyone can say anything to anyone. I am like walking up to people and telling them, ‘dekh maine yeh galtiya kari hain, tu mat kar (listen, I have committed these mistakes, make sure you don’t do the same).’
“Your career improves by two-three years. I believe in empowering people,” he added.