“There is respect, there is always a respect,” says Virat Kohli on Babar Azam￼
Virat Kohli feels there is a healthy amount of respect between the India and Pakistan players, despite the savage on-field rivalry between the two sides while Kohli, speaking to the press after the two sides clashed was nothing but short of praise for their rivals.
Former India skipper Virat Kohli feels there is a healthy amount of respect between the India and Pakistan players, despite the savage on-field rivalry between the two sides.
Kohli, speaking to the press after the two sides clashed in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup was nothing but short of praise for their rivals.
Babar Azam-drove’s side came out on top against India as they registered a five-wicket victory after chasing down a total of 182. Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz were the game changers who helped their side to win this game.
However, the biggest talking point of the game came in the 18th over of the innings as young seamer Arshdeep Singh dropped a relatively easy chance off the bowling of Ravi Bishnoi at the crucial moment of the game, and as a result, Asif Ali got a life.
Kohli also isn’t shocked with Babar’s performances across all the formats with the bat. Babar is currently the No.1-ranked batter in the world in ODIs and T20Is on the ICC Men’s Player Rankings.
Lauding the Pakistan captain, Kohli said,
“Babar is a very nice guy. I have always had good conversations with him. I am not sure about kinship since he is much younger than me, but there is respect. There is always respect.”
“He was always keen to learn. He spoke to me after our game in the 2019 World Cup. I have always said he is keen to learn, and there’s no surprise that he is playing like this in all formats of the game. He is a very talented player,”Kohli added.
Kohli believes this stems from the mutual respect between both sides and also the courteous nature of the Pakistan players. He stated,
“It’s always nice to meet him (Babar) and also the other guys (from Pakistan). They are all very friendly and get along nicely with all of us. There is mutual respect between both teams.
“I have realized that it was there to be seen last year as well (during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup). We are very competitive on the field but very respectful.”
Before the tournament, Kohli took a prolonged break and also spoke about his struggles with mental health. The India robust said that he didn’t contact his bat for a month, with his brain advising him to step back.
Further elaborating on his break, Kohli said,
“I didn’t think I’d go a month without touching my bat, but the situation became such that I had to take a break, more mentally than physically.
“Then you realize when you bat again after a month why you started playing the game. That [realization] is lost at times, the way people look at you, cheer for you when you’re at the ground, at such times you can lose that realization.”
Kohli also said that his being in a bad space was neither beneficial for him nor the team.
“When I’m happy in my space, then I know what I can do for the team. Me being in a bad space is neither good for the team nor me.”
He also feels that no one should shy away from taking a break, adding,
“I think no one should run away from this, if someone is feeling negative or low, taking a break isn’t a bad thing.
“And I hope people will derive strength from that and address whatever they are feeling. We’re all human, everyone can feel this way. But to recognize that and care about it is important. If you ignore it, you will get more frustrated. This is something I realized and I got a lot of help. I’m happy, I’m excited and having fun playing cricket again, which was the most important thing for me.”
India will play their next Asia Cup clash against Sri Lanka on September 6.