Exciting time for me, says Kohli

Handed the task of leading an Indian side that is just emerging out of a transition phase, skipper Virat Kohli said he's thrilled at being given such
Last Updated 11 August 2015, 20:07 IST

 Handed the task of leading an Indian side that is just emerging out of a transition phase, skipper Virat Kohli said he’s thrilled at being given such a huge responsibility of shaping the course and his boys are looking forward to the challenge with great optimism.

After getting the first taste of captaincy in two Test matches when India toured Australia last December-January and then against Bangladesh in the one-off Test in June, the 26-year-old will be marshalling the troops for a full fledged tour for the first time in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting here on Wednesday.

“I feel pretty fortunate to be in such a position because the more you learn by being out there playing the game of cricket or committing mistakes in international cricket, you can’t learn that anywhere else,” said Kohli during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference. “It’s a great opportunity for this great bunch of boys to learn and grow as international cricketers and once you gain that sort of momentum you will see better understanding and better co-ordination on the field because everyone has gone through the same times together. 

“I see that as a big positive and a big opportunity for all of us to improve massively as Test cricketers more importantly. Because we play so much ODI and T20 cricket that every member in this squad wants to do well and prove himself in Tests. So personally I feel it’s a very exciting time and a great opportunity for everyone in the squad to learn and improve as Test cricketers.”

Although India would be taking on a transitional Sri Lanka who are just smarting from a complete beating at the hands of Pakistan recently, the task won’t be any easier for the visitors who haven’t enjoyed a series win here since 1993.

Regular reminder

“I have been reminded of that quite a few times,” said Kohli. “It was something I get to know only when I come (for press conferences) and I don’t think about it all. As I said before, it’s a great opportunity to create some momentum knowing it’s a three-match series. Having some plan in mind, having the opportunity and time to execute them. Even if you have an an off-day you still have time to re-group and think about what went wrong. We are all pretty early in our careers and it’s exciting.”

If there is one major area of concern for Kohli, then it’s his pace bowlers. While Ishant Sharma is experienced and enjoyed a fruitful outing in the practice game against SL Board President’s XI and Bhuveshwar Kumar is accurate both Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav, despite possessing plenty of pace, can be very expensive customers.

“There is no lacking in the skill department. Where we lacked in Australia was in composure. That's something we spoke about as a squad. I am certain that people want to improve because they know that playing for the country is a privilege that not many get. I am sure they have learnt from it,” he said.

(Published 11 August 2015, 20:07 IST)

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