India skipper Virat Kohli has rubbished stories suggesting a rift with former skipper MS Dhoni and instead suggested that the two share a strong bond among themselves.
“A lot of people try to plug in stories of rift between us. The best part is neither he reads those articles nor do I. And when the people see us together, they wonder ‘wasn’t there rift between the two’. We laugh amongst ourselves and say we didn’t know there was one,” Kohli said during an episode of a web-series.
Kohli moreover, insisted that the wicket-keeper batsman has “childlike enthusiasm” and said, “Lot of people don’t know but he has childlike enthusiasm. He gets intrigued by things easily and is always looking for something new that will interest him.”
“I once told him a funny story of my U-17 days. It was my academy’s match. There was this new boy and I threw the ball at him and asked ‘kahaan se’ (meaning from which end will you bowl). The boy answered: ‘Bhaiya Najafgarh se’! “When I recollected this incident and told MS about it, he started laughing and this was happening as the match was on,” Kohli said.
The Indian skipper praised Dhoni’s abilities on the cricket field and went on to say that the former Indian skipper has a great understanding of the game.
“I don’t think I have ever come across a better cricketing brain just in terms of planning, knowing what’s happening in the game and what can be done. Obviously, I go by my instincts but whenever I ask him anything 8 or 9 out of 10 times what he says, works. Our friendship has only grown over the years,” Kohli said.
“MS and me have a great understanding. While running between the wickets, if he says two, I just close my eyes and run because I know that his judgement is so correct, I will make it,” he added.
Talking about other players in the team, Kohli described all-rounder Hardik Pandya as an “entertainer”. Sharing an incident, Kohli explained that Pandya is someone who is “lost in his own world”.
“Hardik Pandya carries Ipod but it only has english songs downloaded. He doesn’t know even five words of any of those english songs. He just wants to groove to the beat.”Hardik is an entertainer. I have not seen a man more lost in his own world (uske jaisha khoya huwa aadmi main zindagi mein naahi dekha).”
“He can just say anything. A few days back he was trying to refer to Ash (Ashwin). He said: ‘Yaar woh Ravi Kashyap Ashwin kya bowling karta hain (He is Ravichandran). No control on what he speaks but the most clean hearted individual.”
The right-hander also talked about opener and his Ranji teammate Shikhar Dhawan and said, “It was a Ranji game. Our wicketkeeper was Puneet Bisht, Shikhar was standing at first slip and I was at second slip. During that match a new player had come into the team and would always come to me and say what a great bat, what great shoes. Always I would find him standing behind me in the dressing room. This irritated me.Now while fielding I told Puneet that I find this guy irritating. Puneet told me that I know but you know he is not a bad guy. Ab hamare Shikhar Dhawan ne apna jaadoyi deemag chalaya. He said: ‘I guess he wants to come in your notebook’! “I asked Shikhar ‘Notebook’?? What’s that? Shikhar now says: ‘It’s that book which everyone wants to come into’. “I realised he meant in my good book and it became notebook. A match was on and me and Puneet couldn’t stop laughing. This is Shikhar Dhawan for you,” Kohli said.