‘When I Left Test Captaincy, Only MS Dhoni Messaged Me’: Virat Kohli

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There was a lot of talk around Virat Kohli‘s form before the Asia Cup, but a one-month rest has done wonders for the former skipper as he is back in full form in the ongoing sub-continental tournament. In the three matches so far, the right-handed batter has scored 154 runs with his highest score being 60 which came in the Super 4 stage against Pakistan on Sunday. Team India lost the contest in a thriller by five wickets and they will now square off against Sri Lanka on Tuesday at the same venue.

After the match, Kohli addressed a press conference, where he revealed that only MS Dhoni texted him when he left the Test captaincy in January this year. He also shed light on how he sees things, and how suggestions are best when given in a 1-1 capacity rather than in front of the entire world.

“When I left Test captaincy, I only received a message from one person and I have played with that person. That person is MS Dhoni, many people have my number, and there are many people who give me suggestions. There was just MS Dhoni who messaged me, many people have my number, but they did not text me. When you have genuine respect and connection with someone, you are able to see that because there is security from both sides,” said Kohli during a post-match press conference.

“I don’t want anything from him and he does not want anything from me. I was never insecure from him and he was never of me. I can just say that if I want to say something to someone, I will reach out individually/ Even if you want to help. If you want to give a suggestion to me in front of the TV or the whole world, it does not hold any value to me. You can talk 1-1, I see things with utmost honesty. It is not like I do not care, but you see the things how they are,” he further added.

Kohli had stepped down from T20 captaincy after the World Cup and then he was removed as the ODI skipper in the same year as selectors wanted the same captain for white-ball formats. Kohli then stepped down as Test captain after a series defeat against South Africa.

Talking about the match against Pakistan, Arshdeep Singh had dropped a crucial catch in the 18th over of the innings and this really proved to be a deciding factor.

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Talking about this moment, Kohli said: “Anyone can commit the mistake, the situation was tight. I still remember I was playing my first Champions Trophy and the match was against Pakistan, I had played a very bad shot. I was watching the ceiling till 5 am, but these things are natural. Seniors players get around you, there is a good team environment right now, I give the credit to the captain and coach. The players learn from their mistakes.”

Talking about Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, the former skipper said: “Both Hardik and Suryakumar Yadav have been brilliant. Hardik has realised his potential fully. From the IPL that happened this time around, he has become a different character, very responsible and very aware of his abilities. That is the difference I see, he realises what he can do as an all-rounder and he is working as hard as I have ever seen him. To play like this and get back to full bowling fitness will be a massive factor. And Suryakumar, I do not think there are hardly any players in world cricket who can play like that, once he gets going, he can take the game away,”

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