Virat Kohli is my inspiration: KL Rahul

Often compared to Kohli's batting style and on-field temperament, Rahul has managed to find a place for himself in the national set-up with utter grit and application.

Updated: Sep 14, 2016, 20:45 PM IST
Virat Kohli is my inspiration: KL Rahul

New Delhi: Virat Kohli may have received flacks for sticking with under-performing Rohit Sharma, but a youngster in the team is giving all the credits to his captain for helping him become a better player.

KL Rahul, who has impressed everyone with his batting in the last few months, said India Test captain is an "inspiration" both on and off the field. Luckily, for him, Kohli is also the team captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challenegers Bangalore (RCB), of which Rahul has been an integral part.

"We feel lucky we don't have to look too far, the guy who inspires you is sitting right next to you in the dressing room," Rahul told ESPNCricinfo in an exclusive interview.

After Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, Rahul is the third Indian batsman to hit centuries in all three formats of international cricket. He completed the feat, with a T20I hundred against West Indies at Lauderhill last month.

"The level of commitment that he (Kohli) has shown, the discipline and work ethics, the way he has been so disciplined with his fitness, nutrition and diet, that is something that has inspired all of us," he added about the captain.

Often compared to Kohli's batting style and on-field temperament, Rahul has managed to find a place for himself in the national set-up with utter grit and application.

The 24-year-old will be in contention for one the openers' slot in the upcoming New Zealand. He opened during India's recent West Indies tour, thanks to the unavailability of regular Murali Vijay due to injury.

But the Bangalore boy has taken the opportunity with both hands and scored a big hundred at Kingston, then a useful fifty at Gros Islet.

And he credited the success to his skipper.

"If you come into the dressing room now you see how all the boys are so disciplined. He's helped me in shaping my career. When I came into Test cricket, I was good but not as good as I am now. Virat has helped me with my preparation, mindset and he has given me a lot of confidence," Rahul shared.