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‘When I was really struggling for confidence, he sat me down and helped’, says Virat Kohli on Dinesh Karthik

24 May, 2024 18:05 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Talismanic India batter Virat Kohli has expressed immense gratitude to his Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) teammate Dinesh Karthik for helping him in his tough time, a phase where he struggled for confidence.

The veteran wicketkeeper-batter Karthik’s long playing career ended when RCB exited the IPL 2024 after a four-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator at Ahmedabad earlier this week. Karthik represented India in 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 60 T20Is since his international debut in 2004.

“Off the field, I have had some really nice and interesting conversations with Karthik. He is a wise man and has great knowledge about a lot of things, not just cricket. I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with him.”

“Even in that phase in 2022 when I did not have a great IPL season, I was really struggling for confidence, Karthik sat me down a couple of times and gave me a very honest explanation of how he is seeing things and maybe I am not able to see them myself,” said Kohli in a tribute video posted by the franchise on Friday.

Karthik played in every season of the Indian Premier League since 2008, and it was his second stint in RCB after the 2015 season.

“So, I just like his honesty and courage to go and speak to anyone about things that he feels dearly about. And that I think is the most special thing for me when it comes to Karthik and that’s one thing I have always cherished about him. That’s why we get along really, really well,” added Kohli.

The right-handed batter recalled his first meeting with Karthik in the national team set-up. “The first time I met DK, I remember we were playing in South Africa if I am not wrong in the Champions Trophy 2009. It was the first time I shared the changeroom with Dinesh and I found him to be very amusing, I would say hyperactive, confused person, most of the time he was moving all over the place, never stopping.”

“That was my first impression of Dinesh. Outstanding talent, brilliant batter to watch and my first impression and present-day impression are not far apart. Just that he has become wiser and calmed down a lot.”

“I always looked at Dinesh and felt like he was such a correct player technically that he could adapt to any kind of role that's been given to him, and I remember watching him in the 2013 season where he got 600 runs or something and he batted brilliantly at three.”

"I saw him play shots which were like 'wow'. I think he's done brilliantly to switch and become a renowned finisher. I wish him all the best for all his future endeavours moving forward because his expertise in cricket is priceless. I think he's of great value to this franchise.”

RCB fielding coach Malolan Rangarajan touched upon how Karthik is now a calmer figure after being at his lowest ebb in the 2010s. “What everybody is seeing now is a very, very subtle version. People need to understand that his situation, especially in the last four or five years, is high-intensity. So, it’s very difficult to just be sat on your seat, put your helmet on.”

“Very few people in the world can do that. So he gets himself, gets his heart rate up and going, runs like a maniac, up and down maybe 25, 30,000 times, and does about 200,000 push-ups before he goes in. I think he’s faced the most number of balls in training in the history of cricket off the field.”

Dipika Pallikal Karthik, the multiple-time squash medallist in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, lauded her husband for having a never-say-die attitude throughout his playing career. “One of the things I have really learned from him is that if he doesn’t do well, he is dropped from the team, it’s just two or three days when he is in a lull, and then he is back on his feet, thinking about what to do next.”

“I feel that if anyone else was in that position, a lot of people would have given up long back. Even me, though I am an athlete, seeing him in different positions in his career, if I were him, I would definitely have given up. But I think the do-or-die or never-give-up attitude has always been there.”

Dipika also credited Abhishek Nayar, the former India all-rounder who served as Karthik’s personal mentor, for helping him unearth a newer version of himself in his later cricketing career.

“There’s been different DKs. I feel over the last 10 years that we’ve been together. I think every two years, he tries to re-invent himself. I feel like, as a wife also, I see that difference in him. Over the last four to five years, he has really enjoyed the sport, since when he met Abhishek Nayar. Nayar played a big role, not just in his career, but building him as a person as well.”

Dipika signed off by saying it won’t be easy for Karthik to move on from his time as an active cricketer. “The first year with RCB opened up a lot of doors for him, the role he had got. This is his happy place. He has got all the right people around him. At the stage where DK is now, he is very content with what he has done, what he has achieved.”

“That’s the most important thing about any athlete. It’s not going to be easy moving away from the game because this is all he has done all his life. But he is a person who, as long as he is content, is ready to move on in life. So, he has done well for himself and his family, and he just has to be proud of it,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, Kohli has thanked the die-hard fans of Royal Challengers Bengaluru for their support that helped the team make a sensational comeback to storm into the Playoffs.

He said the fans' support made them feel loved and appreciated.

"Thank you once again to all the fans of RCB for making us feel loved and appreciated as always," Kohli wrote in a post on Instagram. The post was accompanied by a picture of the RCB team in a huddle during a match.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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