that in under-14, under-16, under-19 and under-22 matches and have even captained (West Zone) in the Duleep Trophy. I was captain of India Under-19 too, for a brief period. So captaincy is nothing new to me. Had I not led any junior side, it could have been a problem. Captaincy is all about backing your decisions. Sometimes, it goes right and on a few occasions it may go wrong. However, it is important for me to back my instincts. In the end, itís a team game and I always put my team first.
What kind of captain are you? Has anyone from the past had an influence on you?
Captaincy canít be copied because each captain has to deal with different situations and circumstances. There have been instances where I have got a lot of opinions from my teammate but in the end, I have done what I felt was right. The decision might have not gone down well with a few players, it does upset them, but I canít do much. Iím always ready to take the blame. Iím an open-minded person so I enter the match with that attitude. I always look to learn something new and that is only possible in different kind of match situations.
How much has captaincy changed you as a batsman?
I have always differentiated my captaincy and my batting. As a captain, I always look to come up with strategies which will help the team. I ask for suggestions and at the same time I need to give freedom to my bowlers. As far as my batting goes, I have believed in playing long innings since childhood. My main aim is to occupy the crease for as long as possible; itís my duty to score runs. When you bat, youíre just a batsman and not the captain.
Did you ever think that a day will come when these stalwarts will play under you?
I never thought so. We all have seen them since childhood and they have been role models for all of us. They know their job well and I donít have to tell anything to