Yuvraj, in an exclusive interview with Times of India, also opened up on Virat Kohli’s growth as a cricketer from the start of his career besides adding that Kohli had an incredible hunger and desire to become the best player in the world since his initial days in international cricket.
Virat Kohli made his international debut (in 2008) at a time when the Indian team was loaded with legends.
However, as Yuvraj alluded, Kohli made the most of the opportunities he got and it was his consistency that helped him pip Rohit Sharma and earn an elusive spot in the 2011 World Cup squad.
After the 2011 World Cup, Kohli took his game to a completely different level to emerge as the soul of the Indian batting-unit.
“Huge difference (since 2011). Virat showed some great promise when he came on board. The moment he got the opportunities, he grabbed them. That’s how he took a spot in the World Cup (squad), because he was very young at that time. And it was between him and Rohit. At that time, Virat was scoring runs. That’s the reason, Virat got the spot. And compared to now, there is a complete change in him,” Yuvraj said to TimesofIndia.com when asked about Virat Kohli’s transformation since the 2011 World Cup.
‘It was really great to watch him grow as a cricketer’- Yuvraj Singh on Virat Kohli
Yuvraj said that he has seen Kohli grow as a cricketer right from his initial days while alluding to him being a strict disciplinarian one of the hardest workers in the game, driven by the objective to become the best batter in the world.
“I have seen him grow and train in front of me. He was probably the hardest worker, very disciplined with his diet, very disciplined with his training. When he was scoring runs, you could see that he is somebody who wants to be the best player in the world. He had that kind of attitude. He has got that swag.” said Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj signed off by stating that Virat has become even better after becoming the captain of the Indian team besides adding that he has already become a legend, a title that is accorded to players only after they call it quits.
“He was scoring a lot of runs and then he became captain. Sometimes you get bogged down, but when he became captain, his consistency became even better. At almost 30, he had achieved a lot of things. People become legends when they retire. At 30, he (Virat) already became a legend. It was really great to watch him grow as a cricketer. Hope he finishes on a high. Because he has got a lot of time,” the former India all-rounder said.