Mumbai: Indian captain Virat Kohli has insisted that the environment in the Indian change room is very friendly where each and every person is allowed to express their opinion in a free manner.
In an interview with the Times of India, Kohli said he treats all the players with equal respect in the dressing room and resists from scolding youngsters whenever they commit any mistake during the course of a game.
“The culture of scolding people isn’t there in the change room now. As friendly as I am with Kuldeep (Yadav), I am the same with M.S. (Dhoni). The atmosphere is such that anyone can say anything to anyone.”
“I am like walking up to people and telling them ‘listen, I have committed these mistakes, make sure you don’t do them’,” he added.
The 30-year-old further said he believes in giving players a space to express themselves and tries to intervene only when he feels that the players are feeling jumbled.
“I believe in empowering people. I believe in giving them space to express themselves and when they come to a stage when they feel jumbled then I’ll have a conversation,” he said.
“I’ll talk to them like, ‘this is where you are heading and this is where you have to head. These are the kind of things you should be doing. You’ll regret not correcting those things early like I did. I don’t want you to waste two-three years of your career. You have to play more than what you have played’,” he added.
Speaking about the recently concluded World Cup where India made an exit in the last-four stage, the Indian skipper said the team didn’t do much wrong during the course of the tournament but were still out of it.
The Indian team, which stayed at the top after the round-robin stage, had to face a shocking defeat in the semifinals at the hands of New Zealand, the eventual runners-up of the tournament.
“It’s very difficult to digest because you know you didn’t make many mistakes to be knocked out. When you make mistakes, you can point them out and take ownership of that but when you have been outplayed then the acceptance becomes difficult. You wake up and think you didn’t do much wrong but we are still out.”
Kohli further said that setbacks, which he has faced in his cricketing career till now, have helped him improve as a person.
“I have learnt most in my life from failures and setbacks. The worst setbacks have not only motivated me but also improved me as a person, made me understand the importance of those times more than the success,” he said.
“It makes you sit down and think about what you need to do now, build a roadmap for yourself. Secondly, these moments show you the people who are going to stand by you in tough times and the people who will jump ship.
“Most importantly, it builds your character because suddenly this thing happens. When your belief is right up there and everyone’s playing so well, and suddenly, you know, you’ve been outplayed,” he added.
Talking about the upcoming Test series against West Indies, which will be a part of the ICC Test Championship, Kohli said that it was happening for the right time for the longest format of the game.
“It’s very exciting. I think it’s happening at the right time for Test cricket. Although you are going to play bilateral series, the meaning and importance are way more. You have to plan for every series. I was excited about something of this sort and now it’s coming to life,” he said.
India will play three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches against Windies beginning August 3.