New Delhi: If there is one thing that stands out about Virat Kohli it is his confidence in his abilities. Confidence that allows him to be aggressive and unabashed about his emotions on the field. In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Indian cricket's man of the moment admitted that many people in the past had criticised his off field behaviour but he refused to change as he had belief in himself.
"You need to have some sort of self belief to go forward. Lot of people criticised the way I used to be off the field. I did make a few mistakes. But I don't think I have changed my personality at all. I'm still the same person at heart," said Kohli at a function where he was unveiled as the new ambassador for ICC's initiative with a not for profit organisation called 'Room to read' which promotes literacy and gender equality.
"I haven't changed my self at all and I really feel good about it glad," he added.
Along with his scintillating knocks has come criticism for Virat for his over the top century celebrations. But the Delhi batsman now reacts in a such a way only when he hits the winning runs.
"You learn everyday, you try to improve everyday. The main priority for everyone in the team is to make the team win first. I wanted to make sure that I get a big one and make the team win. Even after the 100 (against Pakistan in Asia Cup) I told myself back to zero. I really wanted to make sure I don't get out in the 40th over," he said.
From idolising Sachin Tendulkar, the 23-year-old has now himself become an inspiration for kids and he is ready to take the responsibility seriously.
"As a kid even I knew everything about my favourite cricketers. I used to know everything possible. Now I see kids knowing about me. It feels good. I didn't think I would be here. But becoming an inspiration for kids is great. I want to inspire them to do whatever they want to," said Virat.
The ODI vice-captain also said his immediate goal was just to enjoy every game.
"The main goal has always been to enjoy my self because that sort of keeps you going. I'm looking to do that everyday and every game that I play."
Virat also had a special message for kids who look at him for inspiration.
"Whatever you want to do do with full passion and work really hard towards it. Don't look any where else. There will be few distractions but if you can be true to yourself you will be successful for sure," said Virat.
Virat joins fellow leading international stars Shane Watson of Australia and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in promoting ICC's partnership with Room to Read that was first launched at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The 23-year-old will star in a book which will be published and released ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 by Room to Read. This book featuring Virat will be distributed across thousands of government schools in the country.
Watch: Kohli interview