Mumbai: Kids idolize many superheroes - Superman, Spiderman or Batman. For star India batsman Virat Kohli though, his superhero is none other than Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Speaking to the media in Mumbai on Friday, Kohli says that he will always idolize Tendulkar.
"My superhero has always been Tendulkar and it will be Tendulkar for life. He is someone who has inspired me immensely. Just watching him play for India, I used to dream of winning games for India, because he used to do it single handedly. I just had a vision and got a chance to play with him and do something like that. He has been my superhero and he will be for my lifetime," Kohli said in an event, where he was unveiled as a brand ambassador of a newly launched teen superhero MaxSteel.
Kohli relives the final of the 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka at Mumbai, where he was instrumental in a 83-run stand with Gautam Gambhir. "When I was walking into bat in 2011 World Cup final when my idol got out. I felt I was playing in a field where there is no one else apart from me but 11 other Sri Lankan players. So it was totally quiet. So I wish I had some super powers so I could do something really special."
The 24-year-old, who is set to lead Team India for the upcoming 5 ODIs against Zimbabwe starting Wednesday, talked about 'heroes and villains' in cricket.
"In the game of cricket, hero is a person who respects the game and does not corrupt the game. The one who doesn't or corrupts the game, they are the villain. They should be punished and they have been punished in the past," the Delhi player said.
Kohli became the 22nd player to lead India in international cricket when he captained the team in the recently concluded tri-series in the Caribbean when MS Dhoni was injured. Many consider him to be the eventual successor to Dhoni. On leadership, he says, "I like to always lead from the front and set an example for whoever is playing with me or around me. I like taking responsibilities. That is my natural thing."
Team India are going through a purple patch after winning back-to-back ODI titles - ICC Champions Trophy and West Indies tri-nation series - and retaining their No.1 rank in ODI cricket. Kohli says the near future of Indian cricket looks bright. "I can't guarantee total success but if we continue this way, it will be a good time for Indian cricket. A lot of things that would make people happy," he said.
The stylish batsman goes on to says that if we players are hungry to do well, experience of players may yet take a back seat. "I don't think experience matters, especially in limited overs game. You need eleven players who are hungry for success, hardworking and whose vision is the team victory. If all 15 players are strong and it is a strong unit, which is good."
Talking of toys in sports, Kohli terms his cricket bat not merely as a toy but a weapon instead.
"The bat is not a toy, it's a weapon. It gives me everything in life, which helps me to do everything on the field."
Kohli is a two-time World Cup winner, albeit at different age levels - he led India Under-19s to the ICC World Cup title in 2007 and was an integral part of the 2011 victorious ICC World Cup campaign at home.