SYDNEY: Thrust back into the India captaincy after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s shock decision to retire from tests last week, Virat Kohli hopes to put right some of the mistakes he made in his first match in charge against Australia.
The aggressive right-handed batsman had deputised in the injured Dhoni’s absence in the first test in Adelaide, which India lost by 48 runs.
The 26-year-old has again been thrust into the leadership role for the fourth and final test in Sydney, which starts on Tuesday, after Dhoni unexpectedly called time on his test career following the drawn third match in Melbourne.
“There were quite a few things that I sat down and analysed in Adelaide that can be improved on and I’ve thought about them in the past few days,” Kohli told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
“What are the things that I can correct from Adelaide, the mistakes I made in that game? “Hopefully I’ll get those right and try to make the right decisions in every situation out there in the middle.”
Australia have already won the series, rescheduled after the death of Phillip Hughes, after taking the first two games in Adelaide and Brisbane.
Dhoni’s decision to retire had come as a shock to people inside and outside the team, said Kohli.
“We were all taken aback by his decision because it was so sudden,” Kohli added. “We had no clue. We never saw it coming, so it was pretty shocking.”
The hot-headed Kohli has been involved in a running verbal battle with several Australian players during the series, though his chief target, Mitchell Johnson, has been ruled out of the Sydney match with a slight hamstring injury.
Kohli said he had hoped that some of Dhoni’s calm demeanour had rubbed off on him a little bit, though he would continue his aggressive approach on the field and encourage his team mates to play positively.
“There’s so much to learn from him, especially in tough situations. His composure, his decision making at important times.“
“These are the things which are priceless, any captain would love to have them. I hope I can be as calm as him, but everyone has different styles.”
“It’s important for the players to know that we need to be in a positive frame of mind, a line doesn’t need to be crossed.But we are not here to back down from any sort of confrontation or any sort of battle.”