Virat Kohli (left) and Shikhar Dhawan © Getty Images
Virat Kohli (left) and Shikhar Dhawan © Getty Images

Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has heaped praise on his Test captain Virat Kohli for possessing ‘self belief’ and ‘amazing fitness’. Both Dhawan and Kohli are from Delhi and have been the pillars of India’s batting across formats. The two cricketers are aggressive and at the same time, have the necessary skills to excel in all forms of cricket. Dhawan has added that Kohli, who has taken charge of the Indian Test captaincy in style by winning away series against Sri Lanka and home series against South Africa, remains grounded despite all the fame and success that he has earned in his career so far. ALSO READ — India tour of Australia 2015-16: Indian selectors need to pick the side keeping ICC World T20 2016 in mind

Dhawan told in an interview to The Hindu, “I admire Virat for his self belief and amazing fitness. We look up to him. He is so grounded despite fame and success.”

The left-handed aggressive batsman has revealed that he has learnt a lot about tolerance from cricket, and over the years he has grown up to keep the negativity away from him and at the same time, keep concentrating on the basics. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli’s refreshing approach to captaincy has benefitted India

“When I get angry I used to speed on my bike. Slowly I realised the necessity to control my thoughts and anger. I don’t react to unpleasant gestures anymore. I have practised this art of remaining calm. I have learnt to be thick skinned if I have to excel at the crease. I have to let negative energy bounce off. It is true that cricket teaches you tolerance. I have learnt it.”

Dhawan also revealed that he is a harsh critic on himself, saying, “I criticise myself, appreciate myself; I am my best friend. I love cricket, but then I have learnt that one can be in love and still be detached. If I am dropped from the India team I can’t allow it to bring me down. It will hurt big time but then there is life outside cricket too.”

Talking about his batting, Dhawan says that he does not bother too much about the stroke-making selection process. He says, “The end result is the remuneration for your effort. Sometimes you have to play cross-batted and take smart risks. I always back my shots. I know this particular shot gives me runs. It can also cost me my wicket. I have to accept it because only I know what is best for me. It is not that I am irresponsible because I get out playing shots.

Dhawan said that there is some similarities between him and Rohit Sharma, which people have not necessarily noticed. “I like to make an impact with aggression. Rohit [Sharma] and I approach the task in a similar manner. But people say we appear lazy. We are not casual and certainly not reckless,” he said.

Dhawan added that he continues too focus on the basics and not worry about the other factors. “My basics are strong and I know my preparations are also strong because I work on my skills all the time. You can’t do this unless you are fit. People miss this point. They mostly look at results and not the effort. I am improving and believe me I am at peace with the world. I laugh away my failures because that is the best way to deal with them.”