Captaining India during the Asia Cup is ‘a challenge I’m looking forward to’, says Virat Kohli

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“It is completely different from regularly captaining the side”

India batsman Virat Kohli has announced that captaining India during the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh is “a challenge I’m looking forward to”.

Kohli was handed the captaincy after regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was ruled out of the tournament with a side strain, which he sustained during the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

“I don’t think this is anything compared to what he has gone through in the past few years,” Kohli said. “I am captain for just one tournament. It is completely different from regularly captaining the side. When you win, you’re praised, when you lose, you’re criticised. It is all a part of it.

“I am not in a position right now to experience all that. I have got this one-odd opportunity like I did in the past as well. I am sure it is a very tough position to be in. You have to be ready to take all the criticism and praise that comes your way.”

Despite only having captained India on eight occasions prior to this, Kohli is still determined to show that he has what it takes to permanently take over the role when Dhoni steps down or retires.

“I have only been captain for about eight games till now,” Kohli said. “It went pretty good but this is a big tournament. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. We have got a young group of guys and some exciting players.

“I think that excites me to have a group that I can have a chat with and be on the same page. It’s important to have an understanding. It’s really exciting for me to improve the record which is already good. I’m looking forward to the tournament.”

When asked about the highly-anticipated clash against Pakistan on March 2, Kohli noted that he was more focused on winning the tournament.

“Obviously we are here to win the tournament,” he said. “We haven’t just come here to play one game and go back home, that’s not our aim.

“Our aim is to win every game that we play. A game against Pakistan is always a hyped game for us, obviously a big pressure match. We take every game the same way. You know, the aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and make sure the people are happy.”

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