In a chat with BCCI.tv, Virat Kohli, who will now captain India in all three formats of international cricket, thanked Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his guidance and said that he is ready to take charge of the limited-overs side. Pleased that Dhoni would still be available as player, Kohli was of the opinion that the World Cup winning captain will enjoys his best days as a batsman in the near future.
On taking over captaincy
First reactions are obviously, it’s a very special moment in my life, it’s a lot of responsibility and something that I’m really looking forward to. I didn’t realise when this transition happened, in my own head. Starting off as a player just wanting to play for India and now having the responsibility to be captain in all three formats. I feel very grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity. When it was informed to me by the selectors and the BCCI, all the emotions and the feeling of me playing club games as a child, those are the first things that came to mind because for every child growing up it’s a dream to play for the country and then this probably is the biggest day in my life. I’m very thankful to MS Dhoni as well, for giving me this opportunity, for thinking that I’m worthy of taking that responsibility forward. I’m very grateful to his whole contribution in this process as well, I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of leadership, in terms of conducting myself, how to take the team together, so it couldn’t have been done in a better way, such a respectful and a humble way by him. At the same time, me understanding what the situation is like and having that respect and regard for him, I feel really, really wonderful with what’s going on.
Transition from Test captaincy to all formats
Test captaincy, I think I was told the day before the meeting that MS (Dhoni) is not going to play the first Test in Adelaide and I’m going to captaining the country. It was quite surprising for me because I didn’t expect it at all. Because in my head I was still finding my feet in Test cricket as a batsman. But the responsibility worked beautifully for me. That took a bit of time and process to understand how it’s done. I would say the one-day and T20 captaincy is something that I have tried to learn along the lines a lot more but at the same time I feel a lot more confident taking it up and starting it off straightaway, because of the kind of cricket that I have played in the shorter formats and what I have learnt being in different situations in that particular format. It’s something that will really help, understanding the game better. Yes, I have been preparing in my own head, MS has been speaking to me as well, about strategies, about how situations need to be approached. Because he also, in his head, understood that it’s very important to guide me and to teach me as well, knowing that the kind of legacy he has set up, it’s very important for the person coming in next to take that forward and not be in a state of confusion. I think, as I said, it’s been a wonderful process.