From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP

Kevin Pietersen held an Instagram live session with Virat Kohli for over an hour on Thursday.

Updated04 Apr 2020, 04:57 AM IST
Sports Buzz
7 min read

After hosting Rohit Sharma for an interactive live session on Instagram last week, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen managed to get hold Indian men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli for an hour-long chat on Thursday, 2 April.

The duo, who played together at the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the early days of the Indian Premier League (IPL), spoke on various topics during the live chat ranging from what they were doing during this lockdown period due to the coronavirus pandemic to their experiences of playing together for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Apart from this, Virat Kohli, who spoke his heart out, opened up of on topics like his future in international cricket, why he became a vegetarian and why Royal Challengers Bangalore are yet to lay their hands on the IPL trophy.

1. Origin of ‘Chiku’

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t Dhoni who gave Virat his unusual nickname. And Virat clarified that fact while chatting with Kevin Pietersen.

"MS (Dhoni) has sort of made my nickname famous from behind the stumps. In the stumps'' mic, people pick up," Virat told Pieterson

Later in the chat, Virat revealed that it was his first-class cricket coach who gave him the nickname ''Chiku''.

“I got this nickname from a coach in the Ranji Trophy.”
Virat Kohli

Virat went on to explain why his coach thought it was appropriate to call him ‘Chiku’.

“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.”
Virat Kohli

2. When Will RCB Win IPL?

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: AP)

Rubbing salt on wound, Pietersen asked Virat Kohli the million dollar question regarding Royal Challengers Bangalore’s inability to win the IPL title.

“We have reached three finals but haven’t won. We deserve to win a title. At RCB, we get talked about so much as we had stars.

“The more you think (about winning the IPL), the more it keeps running away from you. There have been added pressure lately but we need to just enjoy and not take pressure.”
Virat Kohli

With the fate of IPL this season still hanging in balance, it is highly unlikely that Virat Kohli and his Bangalore outfit will be able to lay their hands on the elusive trophy.

3. Virat’s Retirement Plans

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: AP)

While answering a question from Pietersen regarding the hectic scheduling in international cricket these days, Virat opened up about his future plans.

“I have thought about it. I have been playing three formats for nine years now, including the IPL, along with the captaincy for six years. So, it is not easy,” said Virat.

“But I will see. I said for the next two to three years more till the next World Cup, I will give it all and then figure out where I stand in which format and what not. And all those questions later.”
Virat Kohli

Pietersen had asked Virat whether he feels that he has been playing too much cricket in the recent years. To which the Indian captain answered in affirmative, explaining that he has found a way out to balance his international career of late.

“I felt like I have been doing too much in the last two three seasons. I started taking breaks every now and then, T20 matches here and there, may be an ODI series here and there because I didn’t want to miss any Test cricket to be honest.”
Virat Kohli

4. Health Scare for Virat

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: BCCI)

During the conversation Virat also opened up about his eating habits and diet. Virat, who became a vegetarian in 2018, said he never felt better since changing his diet.

“Left eating meat just before the England Test series ... and I have never felt better in my life, to be honest.”
Virat Kohli

Explaining what led to the sudden change, Virat said that during the 2018 tour to South Africa, he was diagnosed with a cervical spine issue while playing a Test match, which compressed a nerve that was running straight till his little finger on the right hand. He could barely feel the finger.

“It was hurting like mad. Then I got my tests done and my stomach was too acidic and my body was too acidic, creating too much uric acid.”
Virat Kohli

“Even though I was taking calcium, magnesium, everything but one tablet was not sufficient. So, my stomach started pulling calcium from my bones and my bones got weaker. That is why I stopped eating meat completely to cut down the uric acid,” Kohli said.

5. Why Was Dhoni Curious About Captain Kohli?

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: AP)

While speaking about Virat Kohli’s style of captaincy and his on-field aggression, Pieterson mentioned that once he had a conversation with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, where the former skipper talked about Virat Kohli’s on-field aggression.

“I was running on a treadmill once, it was around the time MS was finishing as captain, and he came and jumped on to a treadmill next me and we started talking,” said Pietersen.

“We spoke about you and your leadership. One of the things that he said that would interest him would be to see whether or not you’re able to maintain that energy, excitement and aggressive leadership on the field.”
Kevin Pietersen

While Pietersen believed that Virat won’t be able to maintain the intensity, he was proved wrong since Virat hasn’t toned down a bit since taking over from Dhoni.

And Virat had the perfect explanation.

“I cannot play any other way, I will give 120 percent on every ball ... I can’t control myself. It’s a good thing, being an aggressive leader helps.”
Virat Kohli

6. The ‘Fun’ Innings vs KXIP

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: BCCI)

Instead of asking him his favourite or best innings, Pietersen posed a unique question to Virat regarding his most ‘fun’ innings.

Virat was quick to pick his innings of 113 off 50 balls against Kings XI Punjab at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in 2016 edition of the IPL as the most ‘fun’ innings.

“Against Kings XI in the IPL, I think it was a 13 or 15 over game and I got 113. That was one of the days I felt like I was connecting everything, I have never felt that way ever.”
Virat Kohli

Royal Challengers Bangalore went onto win the match by massive margin of 82 runs. Till date, Virat Kohli has five IPL centuries to his name.

7. Who is Virat’s Favourite Batting Partner?

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: BCCI)

Virat Kohli didn’t waste any time when Pietersen asked him about his favourite batting partner during the hour-long chat.

“I enjoy batting with those who can run fast with me. So it has to be MS when we play for India together and AB when we play in the IPL for RCB.”
Virat Kohli

“With AB the partnership just flows. We don’t even talk cricket,” said Virat Kohli.

In the past, Virat Kohli has had memorable stand with both MS Dhoni as well as AB de Villiers during his IPL stint.

8. Virat’s Unique Feat With the Ball

From Chiku to Health Scare: 10 Things Virat Kohli Revealed to KP
(Photo: AP)

The duo also discussed about an unique feat attained by Virat Kohli in 2011 with the ball. Pietersen was at the receiving end when Virat picked up his first T20I wicket – off his 0th delivery.

Playing in a one-off T20I in Manchester, Pietersen was stumped off a wide delivery in the match as Virat became the first bowler to take a wicket off the zeroth delivery of his T20I career.

“I am the only bowler to have picked up a wicket without bowling a legitimate delivery. It was zero balls and one wicket. You were so embarrassed that you didn’t even look at me.”
Virat Kohli

9. KP’s Clarification

Another important revelation (read clarification) that was made on the live chat came from Kevin Pietersen.

During the 2017 IPL edition MS Dhoni had trolled Pietersen on air when the latter told Dhoni that he was a better golfer than the former Indian skipper. Dhoni had reminded Pietersen, who was commentary duty, that he might be a better golfer but the former England cricketer will always continue to be Dhoni’s first wicket in Test cricket.

At that time Pieterson might not have said anything but on Thursday during his live session with Kohli, Pietersen clarified that Dhoni never dismissed him. In fact, he had managed to survive a close DRS call.

10. Why Virat Will Never Play Golf?

While Pieterson was busy showing off his golf skills in 2017 on Thursday he was trying to coax Virat Kohli to get him into playing the game of golf.

But Kohli, who regularly plays other sports like football and volleyball during Team India’s practice sessions, was quick to dismiss Pieterson’s suggestion and cited his past experience when he tried playing golf as a youngster way back in 2008.

“Never, I played in 2008 with Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn. I would clear my legs and hit it over cover and they would tell me to go and fetch the ball myself. That’s when I said I am not playing this game.”
Virat Kohli

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Published: 03 Apr 2020, 03:13 PM IST
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