Interview of Cricket Fans – 177 – VIRAT KOHLI
Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your earliest memory of watching Cricket.
Thank you so much for having me, Jay! This interview is one of the things on my to-do list on Twitter. So glad to be a part of this.
Everyone in my family loved watching cricket, so I have been watching it since forever. I was 4 years old when my grandma first taught me the difference between a four and a six while we were watching a match that I don’t remember at all. But the earliest one that I remember properly would be India vs Pakistan 2011 World Cup semi-final that we won while defending the total.
Who was your favourite player growing up and how did he inspire you?
I was 8 years old when I first saw Virat Kohli during the 2011 World Cup. I loved watching him bat and he has been my favourite ever since then.
He has inspired me in a lot of ways on and off the field and continues to do so even today. I was bullied in school when I was a kid. Now I know that bullying and sledging in cricket are two completely different things, but when the Mitchell Johnson incident and all the sledging happened during the 2014-2015 India tour of Australia, all my 11 years old self-understood was that the opponents were saying something bad to Virat, and he gave it back, not just with his words but also with his performance. That’s when I understood that the perfect reply to haters is nothing but, our actions, and our success. And that to me became a lesson for life.
Being an RCB supporter has its pros and cons. Sum up in a paragraph about everything you have felt for this franchise.
I started supporting RCB during the Gayle-Kohli-de Villiers era. The list of my heartbreaks as an RCB fan is way too long, but the loss in the 2016 final hurts so bad even today. But then this franchise has also given us beautiful and happy memories to cherish for a lifetime. Like the match against Gujrat Lions on 14th May 2016, Virat’s four hundreds in a single season, ABD’s countless, blistering innings saving us in thrillers, Chahal getting those important breakthroughs or Siraj miya’s magic against KKR in 2020. Yes, this team has brought tears to my eyes but managed to bring the widest smile on my face too. And it does get frustrating at times, but this is my team and I don’t see myself supporting any other franchise.
And what about the Indian team? Tell us your journey as an ICT fan.
As a kid, I started supporting ICT because of patriotic reasons. It took me time to realise that sports and patriotism are two very different things. But I grew up watching the Men in Blue play and admiring their game. In a cricket-loving country with a population of 1.3 billion people, where almost every kid wants to become a cricketer, these 15-20 guys who make it to the national team have given their blood, sweat and tears to this sport.
I was very young when India won the 2011 WC, hence all I have is blur memories and not a lot of emotions attached to it. I am glad to witness the 2013 champions trophy win. But since then it has been a series of heartbreaks in the knockouts of ICC tournaments. Though ICT is doing a great job overseas as well. Overall the standards of Indian cricket are rising high. Hopefully, the wait for an ICC trophy will also end soon.
How hard was it to deal with the recent loss against New Zealand in the WTC finals?
Just like all other ICT fans, I also had high hopes for the Indian team. Being the number one team consecutively, every year for half a decade in this format of cricket, and especially after the recent BGT win, I was sure that ICT will win the final. We all had a lot of expectations and now it hurts. What made this loss even worse was that a lot of Twitter mutuals deactivated their accounts. Even though most of them are back now, but that day for the first time ever, Twitter failed to temporarily fill that void in my life.
Whenever you watch this sport, what is the one thing that you look forward to the most?
I play cricket too. So I look forward the most to observing and learning from the legends of the game. Everything, right from innovative shots, on-field decisions, their mindset in crunch situations or sometimes even the basics, like stance and defence. Because I believe that there’s always room for improvement, and learning never stops. I also look forward to teams defending low scoring totals. Low scoring match that goes down till the last over is my thing.
Looking forward to the England series starting August?
To be honest, I am not really looking forward to the England series. I am not completely over the WTC loss. Also, a crucial academic year for me, so won’t really follow all the matches this time. However, it will be great to see them win another series overseas. Wishing boys all the luck! And I am so waiting for Virat’s 71st ton.
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