Virat Kohli has opened up about his relationship with Sachin Tendulkar, James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc. He talks about how he found inspiration from watching Sachin Tendulkar play and mentions looking up to Sachin and wanting to represent India and bring laurels to her.
“I started playing cricket because of Sachin.” Kohli said. “I was inspired to do things he did for the country. I always visualise myself in those situations. I was lucky enough to be in the same dressing room when I started my career.”
Kohli also credited Sachin with helping him improve as a player, and is grateful that a legend like Sachin would take the time to help youngsters.
“He really helped me with the little things that I could improve in my game,” Kohli said. “If he saw something he would come up to me himself and tell the areas I need to work on, which is quite rare. People of his stature won’t always do that.” he added.
Kohli considers himself incredibly lucky to have shared the field with Sachin and bat along side him. He said “It always gave me confidence and I got chance to bat with him and have big partnerships. That was the most special thing I could have asked for,”
About playing in Australia, Kohli mentioned that while traveling to Australia can get hectic, he relishes his time down under. “Traveling and playing in different time zones becomes difficult, but I love coming to Australia and performing here. People are amazing here and I love to deliver in front of them.” he said.
Kohli also spoke about the ODI and T20 series against Australia. “It was sad to lose the series but obviously Australia played much better than us. I don’t think we played badly in the ODI series, I think it was important to capitalise in those moments which Australia were good at. Our bowling was also a bit inexperienced as well. In the T20s we have experienced players compared to Australia and we have capitalized more on that,” he said.
Kohli credited the IPL with introducing a platform where international players from different countries can get to know each other and youngsters can interact with experienced players. He said “IPL is a great platform for young players to play with international stars. We all get to know all international players very well. If I would not have played with Mitchell Starc, I would not have known how good a human being he is. IPL helps one lift the boundaries with other foreign players and mix with others as well.”
Kohli also opened up about his friendly rivalry with James Faulkner and how it is all in the spirit of the game. He said “James and me are always at each other. I like to talk, James likes to talk as well. But it is all friendly banter. There is no swearing, there are no bad words, we don’t say anything inappropriate. Last game he picked me up, and I gave him a pat on the back.”
“He is competitive, and so am I. I like that.” Kohli said.