While the cricketing world is debating on Virat Kohli’s extended lean patch, as seen in full flow during IPL 2022, the talismanic Royal Challengers Bangalore batter is undeterred by his dip in form, saying that he is currently in the happiest phase of his life, which he terms as “evolution”.
Kohli has not scored a century in international cricket since late 2019. But his numbers in IPL 2022 have been a huge concern: 236 runs in 13 innings at an average of 19.67 and strike-rate of 113.46, with just a fifty to his name. In between, he has given up captaincy duties of India across all formats and of Bangalore too.
“My experiences are sacred to me. Whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well, one thing I can vouch for is that I have never valued myself more as a person. Because I’m experiencing now that there is a big sense of the identity that’s created by the world for you, which is far more different and so far away from the reality of you as a human being. So, what I’m experiencing now is that I am valuing myself and I care for my own well-being way more I would have in the past,” said Kohli on ‘INSIDE RCB’ show on Star Sports.
Talking further about his current frame of mind, Kohli explained, “I’m actually in the happiest phase of my life. I am not finding any self-worth or value in what I do on the field. I’m way past that phase. This is a phase of evolution for me. Not to say that I don’t have the same drive, my drive will never die down. The day my drive goes away, I’ll not be playing this game.”
“But to understand that somethings are not controllable, the only controllable you have are things that you can work towards, which is working hard on the field and in life as well and from that point of view, I feel that I am in the most balanced space that I have ever been and I am happy with who I am and how I am leading my life.”
“I am not finding any source of encouragement or disappointment by what happens on the field. So, this has not been about myself, this is about the fact that I have not contributed to my team’s cause as much as I would have wanted to or I pride myself to, and that is something that always disappoints me, not what I do as an individual. It’s because I don’t want to let my team down.”
In the ongoing edition of IPL, Kohli has been playing as a specialist batter as South Africa’s Faf du Plessis has taken over as Bangalore’s skipper. Talking about his transition from a captain to a player in IPL 2022, Kohli revealed that it has been great working alongside du Plessis. “To be honest, it’s different. I won’t say it’s hard because it’s something that you’re involved in regularly. So, the good thing is that my relationship with Faf has always been good. We also have a leadership group in the team where we all share our inputs.”
“Even on the field, when Faf is on the outfield and I am inside, I make sure to look after the fielding angles and the placement, so he’s given me the liberty to adjust wherever I feel that there’s a need, but always keeping him in the loop obviously. So, it’s been a different way to look at the game, but because I’ve done it so much in the past, it’s not something that I don’t know how to do.”
“It is just different at this moment and something that obviously came as second nature to me when I played under MS and honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed playing in that space as well where I was looked at as a responsible player in the team and I could contribute in many ways and obviously give my inputs to the captain as well. That really excited me whenever I stepped onto the field which is the case this time as well.”
Kohli signed off by sharing a message for his fans who have supported him and Bangalore in every scenario of IPL 2022. “I want to thank everyone for the love and support that you’ve showered us with. This year, as a team, we still have one game to go and things to look forward to, so please come and support us and send us all your energy and positivity to propel us forward and to people regardless for the teams you support or who they come to support in this stadium.”
“I know for a fact that I have received so much love, care and compassion from all my fans from every corner of the country. I’ll be forever grateful and thankful for that because that’s shown me a very different side of the connect that the fans have experienced with me over the years.”