India's Test skipper Virat Kohli is one of the biggest stars in cricket and is revered as a demigod in his home country. Of late, he has been carrying the hope of a billion people every time he goes out to bat, which is something similar to the situation legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar faced during his career.
Kohli was named the player of the match during India's massive 246-run against England in the second Test at Visakhapatnam. In an interview with Michael Vaughan for the Telegraph, the 28-year-old spoke the pressures he faces on a daily basis and how he initially tried to fight the adulation only to gradually accept it as a part of life.
"I tried to fight it initially. This country loves comparisons. The moment I started doing well I was already compared to him [Sachin Tendulkar] but it is like chalk and cheese in my book. People come up and have a debate and say you can break his records? You fight it for a while. You think why me? There are 10 more people in the team why do I have to go through this," he said.
"There was so much persistence from the fans letting them know what they wanted from me. I stood on the boundary and all they say is they want a century from me. But then I realised that over a period of time you set those benchmarks and those standards for yourself. It is part of being a cricketer in India. It is part of the package that people love you. If you run away from it, it is going to haunt you, pressurise you and pull you down."
Kohli has been in great form over the past couple of years for his country in all formats of the game and is one of the most feared batsmen in the world. The Delhi-born skipper has so far played 50 Tests, 176 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 45 Twenty20 Internationals scoring 3891, 7570 and 1657 runs, respectively. He is widely tipped to break Indian legend Tendulkar's records especially in the limited overs format.