India captain Virat Kohli revealed Tuesday how he “howled” through the night after being rejected by his state side before turning into the world’s leading batsman.

Kohli and his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma spoke about their lives and careers in an online session with students on how to get motivated.

“The first time I was rejected in the state selections, I remember it was late at night and I just cried,” said the 31-year-old cricket superstar.

“I howled till about three in the morning and I could not believe it,” he added.

“Because I scored well, everything was going perfectly for me. I performed till I reached that stage and I was rejected.

“And I kept asking my coach for two hours, why didn’t it happen? And I couldn’t make sense of it. But when there is passion and commitment, that motivation comes back to you.”

Kohli made his debut for home state Delhi in 2006 before breaking into the national team two years later in a one-day international against Sri Lanka.

He has since shattered records on the way to accumulating 7,240 runs, including 27 centuries and 22 fifties in 86 Tests.

His marriage to Sharma in 2017 has added to the spotlight on him and Kohli credited his wife for improving his temper.

“To be honest the patience bit I have learnt ever since I and Anushka met each other. I was very impatient before,” said Kohli. The couple met in 2013 when filming a shampoo advert.

“The learnings from one another that we have had, looking at her personality, looking at her composure in situations has really inspired me to fight it out.

“Even when things are tough you have to swallow your ego and keep being there in adversity, keep fighting your way out and eventually you will find a way.

“So that’s what I have seen her do and I have learnt from that.”

Kohli said he can now apply the attribute “where things are totally against you.”

“Sometimes you have to bat in a Test match for two hours for 20 runs but the team wants you do that. So you should be able to do that.”

‘Coronavirus has made us more compassionate’

Kohli observed that society has become more compassionate while coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. Kohli hoped gratitude towards frontline workers like doctors and police personnel remains even after the crisis is over.

Speaking in an online class organised by Unacademy, Kohli and his actor wife Anushka Sharma spoke at length about the challenges they faced before tasting success.

“The one positive out of this crisis that we as a society have become more compassionate. We are showing more gratitude to the frontline workers in this war, be it police personnel, doctors or nurses.

“I hope it stays this way even after we overcome this crisis,” said Kohli said.

Kohli said the pandemic has taught the world a very important lesson. “Life is unpredictable. So, do what makes you happy and not get into comparisons all the time. People have a choice now how to come out of this phase. Life is going to be different after this,” said the Indian skipper.

For Sharma, the pandemic has forced people to care about the basics in life. “There is a learning in all of this. Nothing happens without a reason. If the frontline workers were not there, we would not have access to basics,” she said.

“This has taught us that no one is special than the other. Health is everything. We are more connected as a society now,” she added.

(With AFP and PTI inputs)