Former New Zealand captain and Daniel Vettori said that Virat Kohli was always “open to listen” during his stint as coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Vettori worked with Kohli for six seasons as player and coach. “When I used to speak to him or any other coaches (used to) speak to him, there’s always a conversation around what you think is best, where can this work,” Vettori said on the latest episode of ESPNCricinfo’s podcast.

“It wouldn’t always be a numbers-driven conversation, it would be around some intuition and understanding of the game. I think, ultimately, when you sold a compelling story to Virat, he was always on board, open to listen and that made him such a good captain.”

Vettori was part of RCB sides which finished runners-up in 2011 (as captain) and 2016 (as coach), apart from a run to the play-offs in 2015. As for Kohli’s on-field personality, Vettori said his “energy, enthusiasm and desperation to win” was something that caught on with the rest of the side.

“ couple that with [him being] the best batsman in the world, and with a work ethic that has probably led India into the situation they are now [in].”

Everyone wants to follow his gym (routine), and everything he does off the field, the way he basically prepares to play the game. That’s a huge part of leadership. That’s a huge part of captaincy.”

Vettori also spoke about the challenges in getting T20 teams adopt data and analytics-driven wisdom.

“For me, I think there’s such a strong correlation between thorough planning and the use of data to performance. I think it’s so important because I think cricket, in general, is quite immature in terms of its exposure to this.

“So, while we’re in these infant stages, I think it’s hard for people to get their heads around (analytics). But, the people who are gonna buy into this first, get their heads around it, I think they’ll get the jump-start on everyone.”

Vettori said his former team-mate and current Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond was one of the trailblazers in making the most of data and insights, as Mumbai’s “structured, planned” approach to T20 cricket has paid dividends over the years.