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Virat Kohli braces for 'big challenge' of revitalizing Test fortunes away from home Virat Kohli braces for 'big challenge' of revitalizing Test fortunes away from home

Aug-12-2015 | 0 Comments

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GALLE: It is easy to forget sometimes that Virat Kohli is only 26 years of age and getting ready to play in only his 35th Test match. After all, Kohli's life, and his outlook, has changed immensely since he made his debut in 2011.

The Delhi batsman now has the weight of the Indian captaincy on his shoulders, apart from being the batting talisman of this side. He already has 10 hundreds in his 34 Tests - five of them coming in the last year and a half - but people are now more interested in judging his leadership abilities.

Since taking over in the middle of the tour to Australia, Kohli hasn't had the opportunity to lead in a full-fledged Test series before this current tour to Sri Lanka. Come Wednesday, all eyes will be on Kohli, not for the grace of his cover drives but for his ability to rally a young team on the field.

"As a captain you always feel that with more time with the team and more games, you have a better chance of creating the environment you require. So I am very excited. It's an opportunity for not only me but all of us for a new Indian team. We are all pretty early in our careers and it's a big challenge," Kohli said ahead of the first Test here on Tuesday.

"It's actually nice my batting is not spoken about so much, be cause I don't have to think more. There are other things that I have, to think about as far as team com position is concerned and plans being made with the management.

So I think it keeps me occupied and keeps me pretty much relaxed. "Maybe that's the reason that when I am captain I am able to play with a different sort of attitude on the field, because I am not really thinking too much or stressing about my batting. I like this balance and it keeps me from thinking too much about one aspect of my game. This keeps me more relaxed when I go out to bat," the Delhi batsman said.

Team director Ravi Shastri harped on the fact that the team needed to start winning sooner rather than later. But most of teams around world cricket are realizing that it's not an easy task to win away from home.

"That's really become a pattern as hardly any teams are competing away from home. That's because when you go on tours, the kind of practice wickets that are given to you are different from what you are going to get in the Test. And the preparation is not ideal. If teams like us can go and play some first-class cricket in England, Australia and SA, the series will be more competitive," Kohli said.

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