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Sachin Tendulkar scored back-to-back tons against Australia in Sharjah. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Cardiff: Indian skipper Virat Kohli revealed that an incident at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has had a huge impact in shaping his career.

In an interview to the Cricket World Cup’s official programme magazine, Kohli was asked about the do’s and don’ts of batting and he revealed that he was hugely influenced by Sachin Tendulkar’s batting style and approach to the game. “His (Tendulkar’s) back-to-back hundreds against Australia in Sharjah — the Desert Storm knocks had really resonated. He made one (century) to qualify for the final and then another in the final, single-handedly winning both games; and that’s where my excitement of wanting to chase totals came from. It was such a thrill to see one man working relentlessly towards a target and being able to achieve it wearing your national jersey.”

Once Kohli started playing for India, he then learnt a lot more watching Tendulkar closely. “I admired Sachin’s discipline and focus towards the game. I was fortunate to share a dressing room with him in the early part of my career and I used to watch and observe how he would go about things with his routine and preparations for every game,” noted the Indian skipper, who is likely to break Tendulkar’s many records.

Kohli’s admiration for Tendulkar has not lessened in any way despite the number of years gone by. “When I chase a big total and am able to finish the game for my team, memories of me sitting in front of the TV watching Sachin bat come flashing back. The conviction was so strong that I always believed I could do it and when that happens, you feel grateful that someone bigger than you is watching you and that it was meant to be.”

India trained at Southampton on Saturday for nearly three hours, preparing for their first match against South Africa on July 5.