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ICC Champions Trophy: Virat Kohli looks to MS Dhoni for inspiration

India play Bangladesh in the second semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday and Virat Kohli wants to emulate his former skipper MS Dhoni

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 14, 2017 00:02 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, London
Champions Trophy 2017,India vs Bangladesh,ICC Champions Trophy
Birmingham: India captain Virat Kohli, right, and India's MS Dhoni attend a practice session during the ICC Champions Trophy.(AP)

In another show of bonhomie and respect, Virat Kohli said he was keen to emulate what his predecessor MS Dhoni achieved as captain of the Indian cricket team.

MS Dhoni has been enjoying his space in the current Indian ODI team and Kohli has taken every opportunity to keep his ‘priceless’ senior in great spirits.

The dinner at Lord’s on Monday once again saw Kohli paying tribute to Dhoni, a man who protected the current captain’s career when it hit troubled times during the 2014 tour of England.

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With scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests, the batsman averaged 13.40 in his 10 innings.

“India have been led so beautifully by MS. I am doing what is in my little ability to take the team forward and repeat the same performances,” Kohli said, indicating his wish to retain the Champions Trophy title India won under Dhoni in 2013.

Dhoni’s message

India will play Bangladesh in the second semifinal at Edgbaston on Thursday. Pakistan and hosts England square off in the first semis on Wednesday in Cardiff. No host country has ever won the Champions Trophy.

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As Kohli stays upbeat after the massive eight-wicket win against world No 1 South Africa at The Oval on Sunday, MS Dhoni, true to style, has warned against overconfidence.

“Playing in England has its own challenges. I have my bad memories too but winning the Champions Trophy was a great thing,” said Dhoni.

This Champions Trophy has been a story of upsets and big turnarounds. The ouster of the favourite teams like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has left three sub-continental teams in the last four.

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Dhoni’s composure is clearly rubbing off on Kohli’s young team even as murmurs of tension between head coach Anil Kumble and captain do the rounds every now and then.

If Indian finish on the wrong side of the result against Bangladesh, sparks could fly. Kohli, of course, will have a good guide in MS Dhoni.

First Published: Jun 13, 2017 23:44 IST