‘I don't even bother’: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli on tackling opinions, criticism

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 02:43 PM IST

RCB's Virat Kohli |
RCB's Virat Kohli |

Ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) clash with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Wednesday, May 4, Virat Kohli talks about IPL’s impact on his life, his connect with Bengaluru city as well as his loyalty towards RCB.

On IPL’s impact on his life...

Like so many other people, IPL has had a big influence and impact in my life. I think outside of playing for India (and having the opportunity to play for India), IPL gave me the platform to show my capabilities, compete against the best in the world and share knowledge with them. The most important thing that added a different dimension to my understanding of the game. This helped me move ahead in a very progressive manner. I was picking brains of people that probably I wouldn't have come across otherwise on things like how to play in different conditions and what mind-set they have. You know, people have different ways to succeed so it can't be just one template. So I used to be so excited and grateful for the opportunity to pick their brains and just learn from them day in and day out and that's for me has been the standout feature of IPL.

On his connection with Bengaluru city...

Bengaluru has a very special place in my heart. It's always had a strong impact in my life, starting from the time when we used to come for the U-14, U-15 camps at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and used to be there for two-and-a-half months at a stretch. So we used to explore quite a bit of what used to be Bangalore even then. But, I think since IPL happened, and me playing for RCB for so many years, and the reason I say I will play here till the last day of me playing the IPL is because I just cannot see myself being in any other environment. So the city has a very different feel than any other place in India. It is just when you arrive, when you land at the airport and you are driving to the hotel, it feels like you've come home. That's a very difficult feeling to get in a city that you haven't been born and grown up in and you just go there for a period in the year. I have had a very strong connection with Bengaluru, very organic connection with the city. UV city was the spot for us back in the day.”

On his loyalty towards RCB...

To be very honest I thought about it. Yes, I won't shy away from it and I have been approached many times as well to come into the auction somehow, put my name there and stuff. And then I thought about it, I was like at the end of the day everyone has X number of years that they live and then you die and life moves on. There would have been many great people who won trophies but no one addresses you like that. No one addresses you in the room like 'Oh he's an IPL champion or he's a World Cup champion. It's like if you are a good person, people like you, if you're a bad guy, they just stay away from you and eventually that's what life is all about. For me, the understanding that the loyalty with RCB, like how I follow my life is far greater for me than the fact that five people in the room will say Oh finally you win the IPL with whoever xyz. You feel good for five minutes but then in the sixth minute, you could be miserable with some other issues in life. So it is not the end of the world for me. What this franchise has given me in terms of opportunities in the first three years and believed in me that is the most special thing because as I said there are many teams who had the opportunity, but they didn't back me, they didn't believe in me. So now when I am successful, I should fall to the opinion of people saying 'but' the IPL. This was the case with me till the 2018 England tour happened. For four years of my life, I was doing well everywhere in the world, the only thing was 'but England'. So there are always going to be 'but', you literally can't live your life like that and I just carry out doing my own things and I actually honestly don't even bother about a third person beyond myself and Anushka discussing things and just being true to ourselves and that's it. For me, nothing else or no one else’s opinion matters at all.”

Watch Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, on Star Sports and Disney+ Hotstar on May 4, 7.30pm onwards

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Published on: Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 02:43 PM IST