Newly appointed captain Virat Kohli has claimed that it was former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's belief in his abilities that saved him from being dropped during the initial parts of his career. The Delhi-born player went on to add that he would always consider Dhoni to be his captain.
Virat Kohli hasn't always been the same player that he is today - consistent and reliable. There was a time early on in his career when his form was very erratic and by his own admission, he could have been dropped from the team. However, he was given the time that he needed to get used to international cricket, and eventually he turned it around in spectacular fashion becoming the most consistent player in the world averaging 92.37 and 75.93 in ODIs and Tests respectively last year.
The newly appointed captain, however, thanked his predecessor for standing by him during the tough times and credited him for the turnaround in his form.
"He (Dhoni) will always be the person, who guided me initially and gave me opportunities. He gave me ample time and space to grow as a cricketer, saved me from getting dropped from the team many a time," Kohli said on bcci.tv.
When asked about how big a challenge it would be to replace the two-time World Cup winner, Kohli repeated what he had said through his Twitter account yesterday.
"Obviously, these are massive shoes to fill. You think of MS Dhoni and the first word that comes to mind is captain! You don't relate MS Dhoni in any other way. For me he is always going to be my captain," the 28-year-old said.
Kohli's first match as captain will be the first ODI against England on January 15 - the match will have some additional flair to it with Yuvraj Singh making a comeback into the team after four years. The six-match series, that includes both formats of the limited over game, will start in Pune on Jan15.