Kohli raring to lead RCB as full-time captain

Bangalore, April 3 (IANS) Dashing Indian batter Virat Kohli is looking forward to lead the host team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a full-time captain in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament this season.

“I have always enjoyed captaincy. I really enjoyed the challenge when I captained in the last two seasons. It is pretty exciting to be honest, it is not something that I take as a pressure thing,” Kohli told reporters here late Wednesday at a pre-match presser.

In their opening tie, the hosts take on Mumbai Indians (MI) Thursday at the Chinnaswamy stadium in the city centre.

Noting that it was an honour to captain players having experience of 20 years, Kohli said he had grown watching them playing.

“Now I have a chance to lead them in the IPL. Hopefully I can do the right things on the field,” Kohli said after a two-hour practice session at the nets under floodlights.

The young Kohli, however, admitted that he and his team would miss Indian ace leggie Anil Kumble, who moved to mentor Mumbai Indians from RCB this season.

“He (Kumble) was always someone who would help players in any way you wanted. Be it any sort of cricketing issues. He was a great help and we will miss him. He has groomed us in a great way. He was a great mentor to young boys. He mentored and guided us into the IPL and luckily we have those guys whom he had groomed in the team,” Kohli recalled.

On Kumble’s captaincy when he led RCB in the first three seasons of the IPL earlier, Kohli said what he liked most about his former mentor was giving 100 percent on the field.

“He always expected us to give the same. It was a great quality of his. He kept pushing players to perform well. When players were down, he would pull them up by himself. That was something very striking about his captaincy. I surely like to implement the same as he did for the team,” Kohli said.

Admitting that the team was more balanced this season with the addition of seamers, the new captain said the team would have greater bowling options if regular bowlers were not available due to injuries or not in form to take more wickets.

“Bangalore has always been such a wicket where bowlers get help in the first six overs. It has not always been a flat track. If the wicket is fresh, the ball seams around. The year before (2011), we had lot of bowling options. Last year, we were bogged down due to injuries. So we had to persist with a set of bowlers present in the team. This year I insisted we pick a lot of bowling option,” Kohli pointed out.

With Chris Gayle at the top, RCB’s batting has been strong during the last couple of seasons.

“We got a few all-rounders who have made into the groove as well,” Kohli added.

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