Virat Kohli’s former teammates Iqbal Abdullah and Pradeep Sangwan have opened up about how he was a big foodie during his early days ahead of the former captain's 100th Test match against Sri Lanka, starting on March 4 (Friday) in Mohali.
Well, Kohli’s fondness for junk food is well known, but his fierce determination towards fitness after his failure in his first IPL season transformed him from being a fast-food maniac into the fittest cricketer and one of the fittest athletes in the world.
Sangwan told The Indian Express, “I know how much of a foodie he was. He used to eat a lot. Mutton-rice, everything. He would even walk for kilometers to go to various food joints; the only thing that mattered was taste. In 2010, when he came to play for the Delhi Ranji team, everything was different.”
The fast-bowler added, “He was eating boiled food. He wouldn't drink more than 200 ml of liquid at a time. Rice-mutton curry had been replaced with diet food. I was surprised at how much he had changed himself. I used to meet him during the IPL and he never missed his fitness session. Most of the time, I saw him working out in the gym. His focus was way ahead of all of us. Often, cricketers do get lazy and have a 'cheat day' but Virat would never do that.”
Meanwhile, the left-arm spinner Abdullah also recalled an incident from the 2008 World Cup, when one of Kohli's decisions backfired and it left the former India captain fuming.
Abdullah added, “As captain, Kohli had got so involved in a World Cup game that he forgot he had changed my field position. I was at deep midwicket and when the batsman hit the ball to square-leg, he sent me to field there. Soon, the ball went to midwicket, and Kohli lost his temper. I had to remind him of the sequence of events. We still have a laugh about that.”
(With Indian Express Inputs)