Virat Kohli, India’s favourite cricketing son after Sachin Tendulkar, is a delight to listen to when he talks cricket. Of late, his sound-bytes off the field have been as delightful as his exploits on it.
It was no different during an interview he gave CNN International recently. Kohli spoke on a wide variety of issues — from match-fixing in cricket to the lack of privacy a star cricketer faces in India.
We picked the best quotes from the interview. Go ahead, take a look and become a fan if you were not already one!
- On how he dealt with his father’s death at 3 am in the night, during his first season with Delhi, when he was batting on 40 overnight
“I called my coach in the morning, he was in shock as well. He asked me what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to go play. For me, not completing a cricket game was like committing a sin. I just could not digest that I will miss a match, it came instinctively to me that I should go play. “
That was the moment that changed me, it gave me the strength and motivation to actually live my dream and fulfill my father’s dream as well of playing for the country.
- On how he has long been portrayed as an angry young man, and the importance of aggression for his game
“As a sporting nation, there’s a lack of patience in terms of judging people in India. When I came in I had tattoos, I used to dress up in a certain way, do things I felt were fine for me, and didn’t go towards the [expected] perfect behavior.”
[Aggression] is what helps me be at the top of my game, and I wouldn’t change for anything in the world. Every athlete needs some aggression or killer instinct, you need to take some pride in yourself without being arrogant.
- And finally, on his relationship with Sachin Tendulkar
“Earliest memories of watching cricket on TV were Sachin’s innings in Sharjah and other matches where he won games for India singe-handedly. From idolising Sachin, to then playing with him for the Indian team, I could not believe what was happening.”
It feels funny because as a kid I just wanted to see him in person. Today I can message him at any point, and I know he will help me out with any thing I want in life.
As always well played, Virat!
Watch the video that was aired on CNN News 18 here