Virat Kohli spoke about what makes his relationship with former India captain MS Dhoni tick on and off the field and recollected his words that helped him navigate the lean patch he went through in the last few years.
Kohli has played 106 Tests, 271 ODIs and 115 T20Is for India in a career spanning 15 years scoring over 25000 international runs. Out of those 15 years, he shared the dressing room with Dhoni for 11 years during their stint with Team India between 2008 and 2019.
“I have experienced a different kind of phase in my career currently. It’s been a while since I felt (this) free in the sense how I felt all these years of playing at any level of cricket,” said Kohli, while speaking on the RCB Podcast Season 2.
“What is interesting is that throughout this phase apart from Anushka (Sharma), who has been the biggest source of strength for me because she has been with me throughout this whole time and she has seen me very closely and how have I felt, things that I have gone through, the kind of things that have happened…the only person who, apart from my childhood coach and family…genuinely reached out to me has been MS Dhoni.”
He added: “He reached out to me and you can rarely get in touch with him. If I call him on any random day, 99 percent he will not pick up (the phone), because he just does not look at the phone. So, for him to reach out to me…twice it has happened now and one of the things that he’d mentioned in the message while reaching out to me was that: ‘when you are expected to be strong and looked at as a strong individual people forget to ask how are you doing?’”
Stating some insights into the working points of his kinship with him, he said, “So, it (Dhoni’s words) hit home for me because I have always been looked at as someone who is very confident, mentally very strong, who can endure any circumstances and find a way and show us the way. Sometimes, what you realise is that at any given point of time in life as a human being you need to take a couple of steps backwards, understand how you are doing, how your wellbeing is placed.
“He has experienced what I have experienced right now. So, it is only out of experience, and feeling those feelings in that moment is the only way you can be truly compassionate and understanding towards another individual who is going through the same thing,” he added.