Interview of Cricket Fans (ICF) – 18 – Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is India’s pride. Whenever India looses an early wicket in limited overs, Virat Kohli always steps up coming in at number 3 position in the batting order. He is someone who can take the game away from the opposition and is a complete match winner. He is not just a good limited overs batsman, but is also a proper test match player who has got plenty of runs both home and away specially in the last 5 years. My next guest or should I say fan, in this Virat Kohli series of interviewing fans, is @Kohliesque .

Thank You so much for your participation in this interview, share your early memories of watching Cricket and how you fell in love with this sport?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity Jay Bhai.

Well, it all started with the 2003 World Cup in South Africa which was a very successful campaign for team India.
I was lucky to watch Sachin Tendulkar in his prime and bat like a dream. Also, the way Dada led the side throughout the competition with youngsters like Sehwag, Yuvi, Zaheer grabbing their opportunities on the big stage and helping the side win.
My love for cricket started from there and it still gives me the most joy in my life.

When was the first time you saw Virat Kohli on TV?

I saw Kohli for the first time on TV in the Under-19 world cup in 2008, in Malaysia. He also being from Delhi, I instantly connected with him and wanted him to do well.
Thereafter, just the energy he brought in every match onto the field, was astonishing, whether it was fielding or batting. You just couldn’t take your eyes off him. He just appeared very different from all the other Indian players.

Have you been fortunate enough to meet Virat Kohli? If you had a chance to meet Virat Kohli, what would be the first question you would ask him?

No, not yet. But hopefully, if God is kind to me, I’ll be able to meet him someday and interview him as a part of my job. That will be the biggest day of my life.
The first question that I’d ask him will be that from where does this immense self-belief in himself come from! Even when he doesn’t score runs, how does he manage to walk out with that same supreme confidence in the next innings like he owns the place. Also, I will ask him about the power of “visualization” that he often talks about and so many more things.

Your top 3 Virat Kohli knocks across all formats? (Mention 1 from Tests, 1 from ODI’s and 1 from T20s)

Tests- 141, Adelaide will always be special to me as it was his first game as Captain and he scored it on a very difficult pitch in the 4th innings. After the innings, we knew that as captain, he will always go for the win, no matter what the situation is.

ODIs- He has played so many great knocks in this format that you can’t just pick one. But also, I can’t look beyond that freakish 133* at Hobart.

T20s- Without a doubt the 82* against Australia at Mohali in 2016, T20 world cup. It was a do or die match, against a quality attack on a tricky pitch he single-handedly took us home.

What is that one thing about Virat Kohli, apart from his Cricketing abilities, that you like the most?

He’s just the most humble man off the field. Even after achieving such amazing heights, he’s never insecure about anything. His presence itself gives so much positivity that you want to be exactly like him as a person. Initially, he had an ego about himself when he was young but now he has completely got rid of that and become such a gentleman.

Which is that one biggest milestone, apart from most centuries in ODI’s, do you think Virat Kohli can break?

The big one is certainly the most number of international hundreds across all formats.

Your thoughts on Virat Kohli – The Captain?

I have no complaints when it comes to his Test captaincy. In my opinion, he is the best Test Captain at present, in the world, by a good margin. However, I feel his ODI captaincy is still a work-in-progress.
Sometimes, he allows the game to drift a bit and doesn’t often go for the kill by introducing his strike bowlers. So, he needs to be slightly more proactive as a white-ball captain going forward. Also, he needs to give the players a longer run, in order to see them at their best.

Do you think we will be able to see the 2016 version of Virat Kohli in IPL ever again in the future?

I wish we see 2-3 more such seasons in the future. But to be honest, he had also mentioned that 2016 IPL was a dream season. He was just toying with the bowlers and it was just a genius at work.

I don’t see him having another season like that, he will continue to score runs but to score 973 runs with that authority, I don’t see that happening again.

Which is that one revolutionary aspect about Virat Kohli you are extremely fond of among these two – Is it the fitness aspect that he brought in the team or is it his on-field aggression that changed the mindset of India’s style of play?

Both. I’m so glad that quite early in his career, he realized that he wanted to become a proper athlete by focusing on his nutrition and training and thus, set a benchmark for all his teammates.

He is the one that introduced fitness culture within the team and it is one of the main reasons why the Indian cricket team has become such a powerhouse in world cricket today.
Players are fitter and stronger now, which allows them to execute their skills for a longer time. You see Indian bowlers running all day in a Test match and all the credit for that goes to the fitness culture that our very captain has introduced.
Plus, that has allowed the players to play with more intensity on the field. We see their body language and realize that they are much more confident about their skills and never fear any opposition.

Everyone wants to see the Indian team on the field now, as all of them are now excellent athletes. They acknowledge the brand of cricket the team plays under VK.

How do you think Virat Kohli will fare in this year’s IPL?

As a batsman, he will certainly be very successful. I think the break must have done him a world of good. He wasn’t quite there in the New Zealand series, which reflected in his performance. But, now I think he will be eager to score big runs again and lead from the front.

As a captain, with a few new experienced international players in the squad this year, his load will be a bit less. He will be aided by his teammates much more now, which will definitely reflect positive results. So, I won’t be surprised if they reach the playoffs this year and have one of the best IPL seasons ever.

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