NEW DELHI - Virat Kohli has recalled the ‘nerve-wracking’ moments that he had while entering the Indian cricket team dressing room for the first time, which followed the news of his selection that he had watched on TV with his mother. Kohli also revealed a secret tradition that Indian team has followed for all new players.
Kohli, who is currently busy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 captaining the Royal Challengers Bangalore, made his ODI debut in 2008 and T20I debut in 2010. Kohli had to wait for his Test debut until India’s tour of the West Indies in 2011.
“I clearly remember sitting with my mom and watching the news on the day of the selection meeting. My name just flashed on the TV but I thought they might just be spreading a rumour. Five minutes later, I got a call from the board. I got goosebumps. I was shaking,” Kohli was quoted as saying by Times of India.
He added, “I clearly remember walking into the team meeting. I was asked to give a speech in the team room. It was nerve-wracking for me with so many great Indian players there. They were looking at me. Which we now do to younger guys to intimidate them, make them nervous [smiles]. These are my first memories.”
The 29-year-old Indian cricket team captain, arguably the best batsman across formats among his peers, has redefined the way Indian cricketers approached their fitness-related activities.
Kohli said he could not imagine himself not doing any physical activity even if he was not playing cricket. “Even if I was not playing professional cricket, I can’t imagine myself not doing any physical activity at all,” he said.
*‘Need to prioritise’*
Kohli has once again emphasised for every individual to have some kind of physical activity culminated in their daily lives. “The survey conducted [by sportswear manufacturer PUMA] shows that people are spending four to five hours every day on the mobile phone. Technology and social platforms, rather than being helpful, are starting to become harmful. People are losing sense of what are the important things to do, what are the things they need to do for their mental and physical development,” he said.
Kohli added, “[Kids need to] prioritise. Have a routine: when you need to do physical work, when you need to be on social media, when you need to play video games, and when you need to do your homework.”
Talking about how the change in fitness levels has affected him as a cricketer, Kohli said, “It had to do with playing at a certain level in professional sport. I realised that when I started getting fitter, I started thinking better. I had more clarity, focus and determination.”
“I started feeling that inside me as soon as I changed my physical regime. Getting fitter makes you confident overall. It makes you feel good about yourself. You need to feel good to have good thoughts,” Kohli explained.