Virat Kohli embraces new-found discipline
Port of Spain: Virat Kohli became the latest member of India`s young brigade to acquit themselves well on the tour of the Caribbean on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old stroked an impressive 81 in the second one-day international against West Indies to lead India to a seven-wicket victory, and earn the man-of-the-match award.
He too, kept up the constant theme that has rung through this series once it was clear that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, and Yuvraj Singh would have been sidelined - it`s a chance for him and other less than established player like him to cut out a place for themselves in the national team.
"The young Indians players want to handle pressure, utilise every opportunity," he said. "We want to take up as much responsibility as we can and improve in each game.
"Some of us here in this series have been around for a while time. We want to perform, so that those with less experience than us on this tour can bat with more freedom."
Kohli`s past had been dogged by the ravages of a young man striving to come to terms with early fame and fortune.
He was thrilled to speak of his missteps as a thing of the past, and felt he had done everything required of him on the disciplinary side over the last two years to change course.
"I was determined to transform myself," he said. "I was getting carried away off the field - which was not good.”
"But then everyone around you lets you know about your ways. The word spreads, and you realise you got to change. I had to decide myself. No one can help you with such a decision.
"I reminded myself that not many get the chance to play for India. I had to realign my priorities. It`s a massive privilege, a huge motivation."
Kohli observed that this new regard for discipline had seeped into his batting, and he was looking to make the most every opportunity.
He noted that it was an honour to play for India, and he had to constantly remind himself that they were 20 others or more standing on the sidelines waiting to grab their chance.
"There were occasions, earlier on, when I had a rush of blood," he said. "It cost me, and my team.”
"I realise now that if I stay long enough, I could change gears and things would never go out of control.”
"If you know you have the shots, you can afford to be patient and learn to respect good balls. Batting at number three gives me this advantage."
Another chance for Kohli to impress comes when the third ODI will be played on Saturday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.