Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the greatest batsman among the modern-day cricketers. He seems to be competing with himself in regards to performance, fitness, and sheer passion for the game. No one knows him better than his RCB teammate and South African legend AB de Villiers. In his latest podcast with JP Duminy and Jemimah Rodrigues, he revealed the qualities that keep Virat Kohli a step ahead of the rest.
Over the last decade, there was constant comparison among fans and analysts of the game over AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli on who the best player was. Both of them played for the same team in the IPL, for Royal Challengers Bangalore. For fans, it was like watching Messi and Ronaldo on the same team. Even though they competed among themselves regarding performance they seemed to have some sort of bonding that operated without any ego.
De Villiers claims that it was primarily because of the fact that they both approach the game in a similar fashion mentally. He added that he could see the sheer hunger and passion in Kohli like what he experienced with himself. According to him, these qualities set him apart from the rest.
“I’d say it’s the desire and the hunger that you can’t get out of him (which separates him from the rest). I’ve played both with him and against him, and I’ve seen the same thing. When you play against him (for South Africa), you know he’s not going to be a pushover, especially once the competitive juice starts flowing. He’s similar to me in a way,” De Villiers said on the ‘Super Over’ podcast featuring Jemimah Rodrigues and JP Duminy.
De Villiers went onto add that champion players would be right up there when it comes to competitiveness and they would step up for the team when needed. He claimed that these were the same qualities that he possesses and expressed his astonishment in the consistency in which Kohli achieves these.
“You don’t want to show weakness, you don’t want to let yourself down and you always want to be the guy to stand up. So I think it separates him from the rest and he does it even better than I do; I feel I’m right up there when it comes to competitiveness. He does it consistently, he’s done it in every single game I’ve seen him play” said de Villiers.
Smith is a fighter like Kohli, says De Villiers
De Villiers touched upon the batting master class of Kohli’s fierce competitor, Steve Smith. He claimed that Smith too possesses the same qualities and those qualities help him to be on top of his game even though he is not the most fluent batsman.
“And I believe Steve Smith is similar in that way, with regards to why he’s so good; he’s naturally not the most fluent batsman, but there’s that deep desire you just can’t get out of him. He wants to be the fighter for the team. And Virat, too, has got that in him; he’s born with that, I think” added de Villiers.
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