India’s Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni Image Credit: Reuters

Virat Kohli, the India cricket captain, has opened up about his nickname ‘Chiku’.

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman M.S. Dhoni has been heard on the stump mic addressing Virat by his nickname during matches.

“MS (Dhoni) has sort of made my nickname famous from behind the stumps. In the stumps’ mic, people pick up,” Kohli told Kevin Pietersen during a chat session on Instagram on Thursday.

But it was his first-class coach who coined the term, not Dhoni.

“I got this nickname from a coach in the Ranji Trophy. I used to have big cheeks then. In 2007, I thought I was losing hair. I got my hair cropped and my cheeks and ears stood out. I got the name from a cartoon character. The rabbit in the comic book Champak,” he said.

Before the interview, Pietersen had also shared a picture of Kohli’s younger days and asked him about the photo.

The 31-year-old laughed and said: “I don’t recognise him anymore. We did have a lot of fun then.”

Kohli also shed light on him turning vegan, saying it is the best decision he has made in his life.

“In 2018, I got a cervical spine issue. I could barely feel my finger and I could not sleep the body was acidic, my stomach started pulling calcium from my bones and my bones got weaker.

“I cut down uric acid from my body and I left meat. That is the best decision I have made in my life. I have never felt better waking up. I can play 3 games a week and can recover within a day after a Test match and go on another,” he said.