Sachin Tendulkar, while being felicitated at a function in Mumbai recently for his 100th hundred, said that he expected a few young Indian batsmen to break his feat and specifically mentioned the name of Virat Kohli. It is not a surprise then that the Little Master sees a bit of himself in the flamboyant young batsman.
Kohli on the other hand worships Tendulkar. He has idolized him since childhood. He, like a number of other Indian cricketers had dedicated the World Cup victory in Mumbai last year to Sachin, appreciating the contribution of the great man to Indian and World cricket and realizing the fact that a World Cup win was the only landmark eluding him.
Kohli however feels that he cannot be compared to his idol. "I feel really blessed when people start comparing me with Sachin, but I keep myself focused on my performance, and not on such comparisons. I literally worship him, so, I don't see too much in this comparison," Kohli said.
"No cricketer has been able to score one hundred centuries like Sachin. It will be a big achievement. I don't think at all about this, because it increases pressure on you. I keep myself focused on my performance," he said. About his selection as vice-captain, Kohli said, it was a pleasant surprise for him and refuted suggestions that he would be eventually replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as skipper.
"No, I don't think so. As captain, he has done a lot for Team India. I learnt a lot as a vice-captain," he said. Kohli also welcomed Yuvraj Singh back into the side and did not agree with Ganguly's sentiment that Yuvraj had made a come back too soon after his illness. "I don't think it is an emotional decision. If he says he is confident and fit, then he should be given the chance. It should be a perfect comeback for him," Kohli said.
"The first match after comeback always makes one nervous. If he performs well in the World Cup, it will be a big boost for Team India. For us, the World Cup is an important tournament," he added. Talking about his aggressive attitude on the field, Kohli said it is part of his nature.
"I had this habit from childhood. I never liked being out, whether I am out on zero or I score a ton. I get angry. Occasionally, I shout abuses, but, of late, I am trying to control my aggression, so that my behaviour doesn't go over the top. I have broken too many bats in my childhood," he said.
Kohli was also candid enough to admit that he got distracted after playing in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore. "Yes, there was a bit of distraction. We had just come from the Under-19 World Cup win. We were playing with foreign (star) players, I did not handle it (attention) well. "I was even thrown out of the team but my coach advised me concentrate on the game and I got my focus back."