Mahendra Singh Dhoni, ‘brain’ behind Virat Kohli: India captain reveals secret
Virat Kohli called the clean sweep in all three formats against England a massive boost for Indian cricket. India routed England by 75 runs in the third and deciding Twenty20 international at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday night to win the series 2-1.
Earlier, the Indian cricket team had won the Test and ODI series by comprehensive margins.
Virat Kohli has profited from leading a limited overs team with loads of experience in it. With his future as Indian cricket team captain extremely secure at this stage, Kohli is not shy of saying that veterans like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ashish Nehra have been the team’s guiding force.
This was the first time Virat Kohli was leading India in all formats of the game and he admitted he was still learning the ropes in the limited overs format.
“I take a lot of advice from MS and am always speaking a lot to Ashish Nehra,too. I follow my instincts most of the time, but even today, I was speaking to him (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) and Nehra.
“Bringing on Bumrah right after that over from (Yuzvendra) Chahal, I was thinking of giving (Hardik) Pandya another over instead. Both of them suggested that let’s not wait till the 19th over and instead bring on the main bowlers.
“So these things really help when you are a new captain in the limited-overs format. But again, I am not new to captaincy, but there has to be a balance between understanding the skills needed to lead in shorter formats - MS has been helping a lot on that front.”
‘Great boost for a junior team’
The Indian captain termed England a quality side and the three back-to-back series wins was a great mental boost.
“We got the results we wanted. Obviously winning all three series feels really, really good right now because we’re up against a top quality side.
“We understand that and to come on top after the end of all three series is a great feeling altogether knowing that we didn’t have that much experience in our teams.
“The Test team is almost as good as new. Even in the ODI circuit, we have three-four experienced guys but rest of the guys who stepped up are all youngsters. Which is I think is a massive, massive boost for Indian cricket,” said Kohli.
‘Team first mentality crucial’
Speaking about the winning mentality, the Indian captain said it boils down to taking responsibility and working towards the team goals.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m captain or Mahi bhai was captain before. The talk has always been to take responsibility as individuals. That’s the only way the team can become a champion side.
“And that’s one reason why we’ve bounced back from difficult situations because we have always kept the team’s goals in our head before doing anything,” said Virat Kohli.