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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Virat Kohli: Till 2012, I didn’t see fear or respect for me in opposition’s eye

The 30-year-old who became India's most successful Test captain recently spoke about how India's tour of Australia in 2012 led to becoming the fitness icon that he is today.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: September 7, 2019 8:23:41 pm
india vs england, england vs india, virat kohli, kohli 100, virat kohli hundred, kohli century, kohli runs, kohli england, edgbaston, india tour of england, cricket news, indian express Virat Kohli wanted the opposition to feel that he can take the game away from them (Source: Reuters file photo)

Virat Kohli reveals that it was the absence of fear or respect for him the opposition’s eye that motivated him to make major changes in his work ethic and work towards becoming an “impact player”.

The Indian skipper discussed his personal and professional life at length with Emmy-winning journalist Graham Bensinger. The 30-year-old who became India’s most successful Test captain recently spoke about how India’s tour of Australia in 2012 led to becoming the fitness icon that he is today.

“(There was a time) When I walked in to bat, there wasn’t any fear or respect in opposition corner,” Kohli said in a sports web-show, ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger’.

“I didn’t want to walk into ground thinking that opposition feels that this guy is a pushover, who is going to do no damage. Just didn’t want to be another player as I wanted to make an impact.

“I wanted that when I walk in, the teams should think that we need to get this guy out or else we will lose the game. And if I don’t want to be that guy, then there is something wrong in my head,” he said.

He spoke about how fitness has become an integral part of his life and how it helped him recover quickly, even as the Indian team crisscrossed the United Kingdom during a six-week World Cup campaign.

Kohli also spoke about how fitness has helped him recover quickly and cited it as one of the reasons why he was up and running after the six-week-long World Cup 2019 campaign.

“During World Cup, every game my energy level was 120 percent. My recovery was so fast that average distance I covered in a game was 15 kms. I would come back, do my recovery treatments and travel to another city and soon I was ready to train again.

“There was so much energy that I could do gym sessions and play 10 games in such a short span of time (35 days). Played each game at high intensity and never felt like this before. There was no stiffness in my body,” said Kohli.

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Kohli credited his success to pure hard work on his part as he believes he is not the most skilled sportsperson

“I knew I wasn’t the most skilled sportsperson when I came in but only constant thing has been working on myself. If Indian team has to be the best in the world, it needs to go about in a certain manner.”

“When we came back from Australia in 2012, I saw a gap (between us and Australia). I realised, if we don’t change the way we are playing, training or eating, we can’t compete with best in the world.

“No point in competing if you don’t want to be the best. I wanted to be the best version of myself and then based everything around that vision, my approach to the game changed,” he said.

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