Few players have caught the imagination of the cricketing world like Virat Kohli. Dinesh Karthik has seen Kohli up close while sharing the dressing room with him for Team India and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. While speaking on RCB Podcast Season 2, the third of 10 episodes, Karthik believes Kohli’s ability to stay grounded despite achieving so much on and off the field makes him a champion in all walks of life.
“What he has achieved as a person…he has literally carried the team for the last 10 years. His consistency and mastery over the game…I don’t think anybody has achieved it in the world of cricket for a very, very long time, his dominance for about close to a decade is unparalleled. We have to understand that there are three different formats, and playing three different formats itself is difficult and then there he is averaging 50 in all of them, travelling abroad scoring as well. I can speak about him a lot. He is very chill, very easy, with the bowlers, the young guys,” said Karthik.
He also gave an insight into the man beneath the imposing Kohli persona.
“I have a nice equation with Kohli, I think I really like him as a person. The way he’s able to handle the situation right now, a lot of credit to him for that, and he still has a smile on his face…I give him a lot of respect. The love and affection he’s getting from the world, he deserves it, and it is good to see him in good spirits. You know, he is a very, very emotional, caring, and reactive person,” said the RCB batter.
Karthik said his own contented state of mind helped him view the achievements of Kohli and other contemporaries like MS Dhoni with positivity.
“If I was a very disgruntled cricketer, then I think it would feel very different. In many ways, I’m content. I think as a person that makes me look at things very differently. I can always look at someone like Virat Kohli and say: ‘Wah! What a life he is having.’ Or I can look at somebody who’s started the race with me and be like, okay, I’m in a much better place than I would like, so I’ve always looked at it that way,” he said.
Away from the field of action, Karthik has also done a stint as a commentator, earning accolades from all quarters. But the right-handed wicketkeeper batter said a word of praise from Dhoni made the job all the more special for him.
“I enjoyed commentary in the little stints that I did. I think I enjoyed speaking about the game, looking at it very analytically, at the same time trying to, you know, get something meaningful across to everybody who’s watching this sport. So, you know, I always tried to make sense out of a situation in my own way and tried to articulate it in the way I thought it was. And my biggest accolade came from the person that I least expected from — MS Dhoni. He called me and said: ‘I really enjoyed the commentary. Very, very good. Well done.’ I was like, Wow, thank you so much. So, that is big, you know, obviously, he watches a lot of this sport. And so and to hear him say that was really good. And I was happy that you enjoyed my commentary,” said Karthik.
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