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Dasher embraces

Shifting in his chair and with a mischievous smile which indicated that he was expecting the question, Virat Kohli said: “For the first time, I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson is involved.”

Kohli, of course, was referring to the incident between Anderson and R Ashwin, who almost escorted Anderson to the crease and let the English paceman know that he was too petty in his uncharitable remarks about the Indian skipper. Kohli, on the other hand, was seen trying to play the peacemaker between the two.
Ashwin, who has a way with words, has been the undesignated troubleshooter of the Indian team, with his ability to deftly handle issues that have the potential to create controversies. Kohli, on the other hand, hasn’t been a great advocate of diplomacy. His extraordinary ability to control the pace of his innings is only matched by his volatile temper. The scenes on Monday morning, however, were remarkable because they reflected the reversal of roles even if it was for the briefest of moments.

It’s difficult to imagine if Kohli would have remained as sober if these events had occurred just over a year ago. It could be the responsibility of captaincy or the growing maturity, Kohli refused to allow the issue to snowball into a bigger controversy that had the potential to divert the attention away from what has been a monumental series win.
“I’m not going to sit here and comment about someone else’s faults,” said Kohli when asked if the Englishmen too needed to prove their worth in these conditions before they question Indian players’ skills to succeed in England. “We focus on our strengths, we accept defeat pretty gracefully. We’ve never complained, we always find faults in our game and try to improve that. That’s exactly what we keep doing in every game that we play. 
‘No mind games’
“I’m no one or in no position to question someone else’s technique or someone else’s faults. They should understand it themselves and work on it. As international cricketers, it is their responsibility. So I’m not going to sit here and play sarcastic mind games. I want to focus on good cricket and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” he said.
That said, Kohli hasn’t sacrificed his aggressive intent one bit. He is easily the most animated cricketer in the world at the moment and the camera follows him like it does few. He is constantly discussing field set-ups with his bowlers, yelling or cheering his fielders depending upon their work, chatting up umpires or even egging on the crowd to keep them involved during dull phases. 
“He's obviously very driven, and ambitious,” said Joe Root, who often draws comparisons with Kohli for his batting quality. “You can see that in the way he approaches the game, he is very emotional. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I wouldn't say it's intimidating, or anything like that … It's quite good to play against guys who express how they feel, and try to make you feel uncomfortable. For me personally, it gets me going – and you want to get in that competitive mode where you're going to perform at your best,” he offered.
When Kohli, or any cricketer for that matter, says he doesn’t read newspapers or watch news channels, we have to take it with a pinch of salt. But, at the same time, it’s also true that he has learnt not to waste his energies on things that could affect his focus that has been monk-like.

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