Virat as leader made everyone believe that we can do special things: KL Rahul

PAARL: India's stand-in ODI skipper KL Rahul on Tuesday said that Virat Kohli had an amazing quality as a leader and he was able to get the best out of everybody and keep them motivated.

Rahul's comments come days after Kohli announced his decision to stand down as India's Test captain.

"I think under Virat, Team India has done phenomenal things. We have won series outside India which hadn't been done before. He has done a lot of things right and he has set a standard for all of us and Team India. It would be important for us to build on that as a group. We obviously know what it takes to be a champion team. Obviously, every series is a different opportunity and every one of us is excited to play here in South Africa," said Rahul during a virtual press conference.

"When it comes to leadership, Virat had this amazing ability to get the best out of everybody, he pushed everybody and made us believe that we can do special things. That is something I have learnt from him and hopefully, I can do that with the team as well," he added.

Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.

"Look, I am not someone who has a lot of plans and I do not really have targets. I take it one game at a time and that is how I play my cricket as a player. That's how I like to lead the team as well. We have had great captains like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. They have shown us the way, under Virat, we have done exceptional things as a white-ball team so the pattern is already set," said Rahul.

"It is important for us to build on it and keep getting better as a team. We have shown over the years that we are a team that is hungry to do well and keep getting better. We have had an honest chat on where we need to improve as individuals and as a team. For me, as a leader, it will be about supporting the guys and keeping them in a mindset where they are excited about doing good things for the team," he added.

Last year, Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI skipper after the selectors wanted to have just one captain for the white-ball formats.

India and South Africa will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, with the first match set to be played on Wednesday in Paarl.

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