Former South Africa and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter AB de Villiers has added that he often had to calm Virat Kohli down on the field because the latter was too intense as captain. He, however, shared that Kohli seems to have mellowed down in recent times, which augurs well for India’s 2023 World Cup as well.
During a Q&A session on his YouTube channel, AB de Villiers said: “He’s an incredible character, very intense on the cricket field. Throughout my whole IPL career, I have tried to calm him down. You can ask him; he’ll vouch for me. I’ve always tried to tell him, ‘Virat relax. It’s okay, everything is fine. He so badly wants RCB to win, he would want to control every player on the field and make sure everyone is in the right place all the time, with every ball. You could see him get emotional on the field, which I absolutely love. He means good, he wants to win.”
However, AB de Villiers further added that he is pleased with the mentoring role that Virat Kohli has taken on in the Indian team in recent times. Notably, Kohli was recently seen in action against the West Indies, where he scored 76 and 121 in the two-match Test series as well.
“Sometimes he needs to calm down and he’s been doing that of late. I am seen him really relaxed in taking on more of a senior role in the team and sort of doing the whole meditation kind of role. If Virat does that a bit more, India might have a very good chance in this World Cup to bring that trophy home,” he stated. “In the change room, Virat’s got a helping hand for every single person. He’s helped me before, he helps every youngster. He teaches and coaches everyone. He’s a wonderful human being off the field and always wants to help everyone.”
The veteran also stated that at times the adrenaline rush would get the better of both him and Kohli as well, but again added that on days when it came off, they were literally unstoppable as well.
“Sometimes, we would go too hard. He would get out, I would get out and all of a sudden RCB would be 30/3. Virat and I were fifth-sixth gear all the way guys, which paid off sometimes. In the IPL, I can think of that 200 partnership in Mumbai. At the Chinnaswamy, another 200 partnership. We always played for the team and nothing else mattered,” he concluded. “My favorite innings is my very final Test hundred for South Africa. I scored a hundred against Australia. You guys know that I love the Test format most of them all. It’s the ultimate challenge and test for a player. To score a hundred against Australia in South Africa in my last Test series was very special. St. George’s Park, very fond memories there. I also played my very first Test match there against England.”