Winning Dhoni’s trust key to getting India captaincy: Kohli

Published June 1, 2020
Kohli, 31, replaced Dhoni as Test captain in 2014-15 and took over the limited-overs reins in early 2017. — AFP/File
Kohli, 31, replaced Dhoni as Test captain in 2014-15 and took over the limited-overs reins in early 2017. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: India captain Virat Kohli believes he landed the job largely because his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni was impressed with his reading of situations in matches.

Kohli, 31, replaced Dhoni as Test captain in 2014-15 and took over the limited-overs reins in early 2017, becoming India’s all-format leader as well the team’s batting mainstay.

Fielding in the slips, Kohli had easy access to wicket-keeper Dhoni and he felt their chats in between deliveries earned him the trust of the former skipper.

“You start talking to the captain regularly,” Kohli told team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin in a chat on YouTube. “I was always in MS’s ear, standing next to him and saying ‘We can do this, we can do that, what do you think?’.

“He would deny a lot of things but he would discuss a lot of things as well. I think he got a lot of confidence that I can do this after him.

“A large portion of me becoming captain was to do with him observing me for a long period of time. It just can’t happen that he goes and the selectors say, ‘Okay you become captain’.”

Leading the national team of a cricket-mad country is one of the toughest jobs in the game but Kohli is enjoying the responsibility.

“I looked at it this way — if I’m getting this opportunity, I need to work as hard as I can, because not many people get this chance,” said Kohli, who led India to Under-19 World Cup title in 2008.

Kohli led India to the top of the world Test rankings in October 2016 where they remained until Australia replaced them this month. India lost in the semi-finals of last year’s one-day World Cup in England.

“I was always inclined to taking responsibility [but] becoming captain of India was not even in my wildest dreams to be honest,” Kohli said.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...