New Delhi: Virat Kohli boasts of an impressive record as captain since taking over the reigns of the Indian Test team two years ago, and the 27-year-old has thanked his predecessor Mahrendra Singh Dhoni for inculcating the essence of being a leader, and training him about taking bold decisions and backing it to the hilt without thinking about consequences.
Under Kohli's leadership, India has won nine out of 16 Tests and lost only two, with other five ending in draws. As a skipper, the aggressive Delhi batsman is yet to lose a Test at home.
By his own admission, Kohli has been an admirer of Dhoni's leadership abilities. "Decision making is very hard at times and it takes a lot of courage to do that. I learnt a lot from Dhoni, seeing the way he made decisions. They might have been right or wrong, but to convince yourself to make one decision and go forward with it; I think that is the essence of being a captain," Kohli told BCCI.TV.
Kohli said he takes pride in donning the whites and feels that leadership responsibility has made him a much better cricketer. "It is an honour to be leading the Test team. It is something that I take a lot of pride in. To be a Test cricketer for starters and then to lead a Test side, for me it is paramount," he said.
"That extra responsibility helped me play even better than I probably would have been. For me it is an honour to be able to wear whites and step on to that field for India. The way Test cricket tests you, nothing else can," Kohli said.
At 27, Kohli captained India to the numero uno position in Test cricket and his hunger for success can be gauged from the fact that he and his team mates share a common goal — sustained excellence. "We want to be a world class team and there is no doubt about it in anyone's head. You don't think about being number one when you begin as captain, but you obviously want to be on top in whatever format you play and that is all that we strive for. To have the responsibility of making sure that we play
well as a Test team is something that gives me lot of pride and I enjoy that. It is a challenge for you to test yourself and be able to take other players along and go towards one goal; which I think I have been put in to is a position of privilege rather than a position of pressure," Kohli said.
"To become a great player, you need to play great as a team and then your performances count. That is our aim. Obviously there will be ups and downs and you will feel the heat and take criticism and negative things along the way. But that is what it is all about, that builds character," he added.