Virat Kohli was present at the launch of India Today's Boria Majumdar’s book Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians, and talked about many things related to his life and cricket.
One of the most exciting questions asked by Boria to Virat was about his equation with former India captain MS Dhoni. The 29-year-old had called Dhoni a crucial cog in the wheel as India started their build-up for the 2019 World Cup.
Kohli had replaced Dhoni as India’s Test captain, after Dhoni’s retirement in 2014 during the Australian tour, and then became the full-time captain of India in 2016 in all formats, as Dhoni stepped down after the World T20 in 2016.
Kohli told Boria Majumdar that, "The equation with MS is lovely. There are no efforts needed and the understanding is effortless and that comes with mutual respect... Understanding that both individuals want the best thing for the nation and once you have that belief and that trust, as I said, you don't need to prove anything to each other.”
Kohli said, "If someone raises questions about him and what his interests are for the Indian cricket team, I think it's very unfair on him because he has literally created this new bunch of people and given them such confidence after such big stars left Indian cricket... And he was the one coping up with all the criticism and all the blame when the team was in transition and not being able to give the results... But not once did he show his frustration to the team... He kept his composure which I think is the biggest positive... I have seen those times and I respect him so much for that because he never let us feel the pressure of what's happening."
"He wanted to give us the space to grow... And that to me is a very, very special gesture from someone who has been around for so long and still be able to take the pressure off the youngsters and not worry about what people are saying about him as an individual,” Kohli said about Dhoni.
Kohli said, "So, from that point of view he has really been helpful for me in the initial phases of my career... Even if now you look at it, yes, everyone makes contributions here and there, it's not like everyone scores in every game... But you have to have character, you have to have individuals who are so important to the dynamics of the team pushing forward because the way he can look at the game, I haven't seen many look at it that way.”
Kohli concluded, "His inputs, his energy, his intentions towards Indian cricket is priceless. And then his performance, you can bank on him everytime the team is under pressure... So, all these things result to him being such an important factor in the shorter format only because he can read situations and he can handle players around him... And that just contributes towards the team cause in a way that I can't explain properly but he's a very, very important part of the team."