The modern-day batting great Virat Kohli has opened up on his bond with the legendary India captain MS Dhoni, saying that the support provided by the wicketkeeper-batter in his early days played a crucial role in his growth as a player.
Former India National Cricket Team captains Kohli and Dhoni share a great bond with each other. The 33-year-old always shows a huge amount of respect to the legendary skipper Dhoni and they have maintained a great friendship both on and off the field.
Notably, Kohli had served as Dhoni’s deputy for a very long time before taking over the reins of the India National Cricket Team as Test captain in 2014 and as limited-overs captain in 2017.
In the latest episode of the ICC Review, Virat Kohli talked about his bond with the 2011 World Cup-winning captain Dhoni. He said that the relationship between him and Dhoni is based on understanding and trust.
“What I experienced with my friendship and relationship with MS Dhoni is very difficult to explain because it is based on understanding and trust. We never actually, when people talk about batting together and calling for runs, as soon as the ball went into the gap, we never called. I knew he was running for two, I am running for two. We had a misunderstanding once or twice in 10-12 years. Apart from that, we were so focused on what the team wants and what we need to do for the team all the time. There was always that trust, faith between each other that we are going to do the job for the team,” said Kohli on ICC Review.
“Within that faith and trust, then the relationship evolved outside the game as well. We spoke on many things, we understood each other’s mindsets absolutely clearly and the support he provided in my early days was crucial for my growth. Later part of his career, I was always there for him and the transition between two captains, for the outside world it was quite like wow, we have never experienced this before but for us, it was quite normal,” he added.
It was never like Dhoni was the captain or I was the captain – Virat Kohli
Kohli further said that Dhoni’s inputs were always very valuable to him during the matches. He said:
“It was never like he was the captain or I was the captain. For me, he was always the same guy. His input was always valuable to me. For us, it was never about who was the captain, it has been a free-flowing relationship. It is something which I am going to cherish for the rest of my life.”
Virat Kohli further talked about being a part of India’s 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup-winning team. He elaborated:
“I was looking at all the guys around me, I was the youngest in that (2011 World Cup winning team) so it was surreal to be part of my first World Cup and we end up winning that tournament. I saw the emotions of all the guys who have been there for so long, Sachin Tendulkar getting emotional, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and all these guys.
“And then MS has probably seen these guys playing before him and to then lead them to a World Cup win, I just could see the emotion, I couldn’t quite feel it, to be very honest. I could not understand what they were feeling because I was not in that position. But the whole moment was so powerful and overwhelming so I got pulled in with all that emotion and feeling.”