Some time ago, we asked Virat Kohli to draft his own matrimonial ad. “If life goes well, I don’t think I would need to put out a matrimonial ad,” Virat laughed, but obliged us anyway. “If I had to, the ad would probably say: Good looking Punjabi, who is addicted to his PS3, who will not give you too much attention because he loves his game and his nephew, dog and cars (in no particular order). If you think you can still manage to be married to me, then I am the guy for you.”
Laughing out loud with the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, we knew there and then that we’d be fans for life. After all, Virat Kohli plays his game with passion, doesn’t shy away from wearing his heart on his sleeve and has swagger in spades.
The perfect example of a man who has followed his lifelong passion to scale enviable heights, Virat still idolises the icons he grew up watching and hasn’t let fame go to his head. If he gets too full of himself, he tells us his mum is the first person to cut him down to size. “Regardless of who I am to the outside world, I am always going to be just her son,” says Virat, while confessing that his mum “gets seriously angry,” so when she does decide to tell him off, “it’s a proper scolding.” Of course, growing up, his parents were also his most staunch supporters. “I started playing at the age of eight. About five years later, in 2002, I had made it to the Delhi Under-15 team. I played for two seasons and scored the highest runs both years,” Virat recalls. “My dad was a lawyer so, obviously, he was very well educated. He was supportive of my cricket but, every once in a while, he would tell me that I needed to study as well. When I started playing for India Under-19, he realised that I couldn’t do both. It wasn’t like I was doing anything wrong or wasting my time, so everyone understood that I was very focused about cricket.”
Looking back, Virat feels his family supported his single-minded pursuit of a career in cricket not because they thought he was good enough to play professionally, but because they saw the amount of work he put in and because of his passion for the sport. “Even today, I work just as hard as I did when I was starting out,” says the RCB skipper. “I was always told that you are good enough and, if you work hard, you will achieve your dream,” Virat reminiscences.
No longer a debutant dream chaser, today Virat is regarded as an iconic achiever — and not just by cricket addicts. He doesn’t shy away from being true to himself, even when the world is watching (and often judging unfairly too). Some critics have called him ‘aggressive,’ but we prefer the word ‘bold.’ “I am not going to change the way I play, or the way I think. On-field aggression is something that has helped me get to where I am today,” says the young Turk in his own defence. Whatever naysayers may suggest, Virat’s success speaks for itself.
From his first face-to-face encounter with legend Sachin Tendulkar (a moment he will never forget) to having had the chance to sit alongside his childhood idols in the dressing room, Virat is grateful that his bold moves have paid off. “I never had a Plan B,” says the RCB star, “I’ve never thought about anything other than being a cricketer.” Considering all the trophies he has contributed to winning for our country, we can only say thank God for that!
Image credits: wrogn.in