Former India skipper Virat Kohli, over the course of his illustrious career, has grown not just a modern-era great, a legend to be more precise, in world cricket, but also as a human being. And much of the latter, as admitted by him as well many a times, led to his rising dominance in international cricket, with the illustration of his earlier self almost fade away. But AB de Villiers, who shared the dressing room with Kohli for IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, still distinctly remembers his first very impression of the star India batter. And it is not a pleasant one.
The ebbs and flows of life has calmed down Kohli a lot and De Villiers certainly agreed to that during his conversation with another former RCB cricketer Chris Gayle on franchise’s YouTube channel. But 10-12 years back, when Kohli was in his early 20s, having just cemented his spot in the Indian team and won the ODI World Cup at home under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, De Villiers remembers a different Kohli.
The former South Africa captain admitted that he when he first met the ex-RCB skipper in 2011, he found him “cocky and arrogant” and felt “he’s got to come down to earth a bit” as Gayle was left in splits before hinting that he wasn’t really fond of the India batter around that time.
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“Oh my goodness…I have had this question before and I had given this answer before as well. I think he was quite cocky and arrogant when I met him the first time. With that hairstyle and he had bit of a strut going…yes flamboyant, absolutely. But the minute I got to know him a bit better and watched him play I mean I’ve got as much respect for him but I got to know him better as a human being. I think he had a barrier around him when I met him the first time and that barrier opened up and I got to know the person. I didn’t not like him but you know what I’m saying. He’s a top person now but first impression was ufff…he’s got to come down to earth a bit,” de Villiers said.
Watch the video below…
Kohli and De Villiers, over the course of their RCB career, formed one of the most formidable T20 batting pairs with umpteen century stands. Together with Gayle in the line-up, RCB’s batting was a force to reckon with.
Gayle later parted ways with RCB in 2018 while De Villiers announced his IPL retirement in 2021. Kohli remains part of the franchise but has given up his role as a skipper of the team.
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