Virat Kohli: Feel blessed to be compared with Sachin Tendulkar

Virat Kohli said his focus is on the performance, and not on such comparisons AFP

New Delhi: Aug 27, 2012

India’s young middle order batsman Virat Kohli is known to display his anger but he says that he is now trying to control his aggression so that his behaviour does not go over the top.

The 23-year-old Kohli, whose overly aggressive attitude on the field has landed him in trouble on a few occasions, said that he had this habit since childhood.

“I had this habit from childhood. I never liked being out, whether I am out on zero or I score a ton. I get angry.

Occasionally, I shout abuses, but, of late, I am trying to control my aggression, so that my behaviour doesn’t go over the top. I have broken too many bats in my childhood,” Kohli said.

On his elevation to vice captaincy at such a young age, the Delhi batsman said the decision by the selectors was a pleasant surprise and it was a good learning stint.

He also refuted suggestions that he would be eventually replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as skipper.

“No, I don’t think so. As captain, he has done a lot for Team India. I learnt a lot as a vice-captain,” he said in India TV’s programme ‘Aap Ki Adalat’.

Kohli however was recently replaced by Gautam Gambhir as vice captain for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Kohli is the fastest to score 1000 and then 3000 ODI runs and has been India’s most prolific scorer this year with five centuries. Sachin Tendulkar himself considers Kohli a worthy challenger to his incredible record of 100 international centuries.

However, Kohli said, “I feel really blessed when people start comparing me with Sachin, but I keep myself focused on my performance, and not on such comparisons. I literally worship him, so, I don’t see too much in this comparison.”

“No cricketer has been able to score one hundred centuries like Sachin. It will be a big achievement. I don’t think at all about this, because it increases pressure on you.

I keep myself focused on my performance,” he added.

The Delhi batsman disagreed with Sourav Ganguly, who felt that the selectors had taken an emotional decision by rushing Yuvraj Singh into international cricket after illness.

Yuvraj, who has recovered from a rare germ cell cancer, has been included in the Indian squad for the World Twenty20 beginning next month in Sri Lanka.

“I don’t think it is an emotional decision. If he says he is confident and fit, then he should be given the chance. It should be a perfect comeback for him,” Kohli said.

“The first match after comeback always makes one nervous.

If he performs well in the World Cup, it will be a big boost for Team India. For us, the World Cup is an important tournament,” he added.

Kohli was also candid enough to admit that he got distracted after playing in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

“Yes, there was a bit of distraction. We had just come from the Under-19 World Cup win. We were playing with foreign (star) players, I did not handle it (attention) well.

“I was even thrown out of the team but my coach advised me concentrate on the game and I got my focus back.”(PTI)