One of the things they spoke about was Kohli’s leadership style and his aggressive attitude. Pietersen narrated a conversation he once had with former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, where the latter reflected on the incumbent’s demeanour on the field.
“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.
“And I said to myself that surely you can’t love cricket that much that you start swinging punches every time you walk out on to the field. But you’ve done just that. Is it because of your diet or does it have to do with something in your head. I know there isn’t much up there (laughs).” added the former England cricketer.
Kohli was candid in his reply and explained why he does what he does. The India captain said that going all-out on the field is just who he is.
“There is a bit of crazy up here as well (laughs), I wouldn’t deny it,” said Kohli. “Look, you can ask MS as well, even when I played under him, I would be in his ear all the time – ‘maybe we can do this, maybe we could do that’. I would run from long-on to long-on each over, I wanted to be in the right place at the right time.
“Even now, it doesn’t matter if I’m captain or not, I don’t think I need to behave myself when I’m on the field. I need to be able to enjoy the game first and think about strategy and all later, because that is who I am. I cannot play any other way, I will give 120% on every ball. I have made a promise to myself – the day I can’t do things this way, I will stop playing.”
Kohli is known for celebrating wickets with plenty of excitement and the 31-year-old said that he simply can’t control himself in those moments.
“Bowlers say that I celebrate more than them when a wicket falls,” he said. “I just tell them that I can’t control myself. It’s a good thing, being an aggressive leader helps (laughs). If my teammates ever wonder if they should say something on the field, they just look at me and say to themselves: ‘no problem, go for it’.”