Bengaluru: Virat Kohli’s ability to stay grounded despite achieving so much is the reason for the cultlike following the former India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper has developed over the years, says his former India and RCB teammate Dinesh Karthik, now gaining a reputation as a noted commentator.
While speaking on RCB Podcast Season 2, the third of 10 episodes, Karthik described Kohli as an emotional, caring and reactive person, who has achieved so much on and off the field makes him a champion in all walks of life.
“What he has achieved as a person. He has carried the team for the last 10 years. His consistency and mastery over the game…I don’t think anybody has achieved it in the world of cricket for a very, very long time,” said Karthik, who has seen Kohli up close while sharing the dressing room with him for Team India and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“His dominance for about close to a decade is unparalleled. We have to understand that there are three different formats, and playing three different formats itself is difficult and then there he is averaging 50 in all of them, travelling abroad and scoring as well. I can speak about him a lot. He is very chill, very easy, with the bowlers, the young guys,” Karthik was quoted as saying by RCB in a release on Friday.
Love and affection
Karthik also gave an insight into the man beneath the imposing Kohli persona.
“I have a nice equation with Kohli, I think I really like him as a person. The way he’s able to handle the situation right now, a lot of credit to him for that, and he still has a smile on his face…I give him a lot of respect. The love and affection he’s getting from the world, he deserves it, and it is good to see him in good spirits. You know, he is a very, very emotional, caring, and reactive person,” said the RCB batter.
The wicketkeeper batter from Tamil Nadu said his own contented state of mind helped him view the achievements of Kohli and other contemporaries like MS Dhoni with positivity.
“If I was a very disgruntled cricketer, then I think it would feel very different. In many ways, I’m content. I think as a person that makes me look at things very differently. I can always look at someone like Virat Kohli and say: ‘Wah! What a life he is having.’ Or I can look at somebody who’s started the race with me and be like, OK, I’m in a much better place than I would like, so I’ve always looked at it that way,” he said.
Dhoni wowed me: Karthik
Karthik, who has also done a stint as a commentator and earned accolades from all quarters, said a word of praise from Dhoni, his direct competitor in the Indian team, which made the job all the more special for him.
“I enjoyed commentary in the little stints that I did. I think I enjoyed speaking about the game, looking at it very analytically, and at the same time trying to, you know, get something meaningful across to everybody who’s watching this sport. So, you know, I always tried to make sense out of a situation in my own way and tried to articulate it in the way I thought it was,” said Karthik.
The right-handed wicketkeeper batter termed Dhoni’s praise for his commentary as the biggest accolade for him.
“And my biggest accolade came from the person that I least expected from — MS Dhoni. He called me and said ‘I really enjoyed the commentary. Very, very good. Well done.’ I was like, Wow, thank you so much. So, that is big, you know, obviously, he watches a lot of this sport. And so and to hear him say that was really good. And I was happy that you enjoyed my commentary,” said Karthik.