Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes clear the air around Kohli’s behavior as Moeen calls Kohli a ‘Big dog’. Virat Kohli has the image of a very brash character in cricketing circles. While many regard him as a bombastic character, those who know him think otherwise.
In a recent interview to The Guardian, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes have given an insight into the way Kohli goes about his business. The English duo has showered heaps of praise over the RCB Captain. Part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, the two believe that Kohli is originally a much better human being as compared to his tough nut image.
“I know a few of the Surrey guys and they are not what people make them out to be a lot of the time. But if anyone in that dressing room does think they are a big dog, they will need to sit down for a little while because there is a proper big dog coming,” says Moeen with a little smile cropping up his face.
His team mate Chris Woakes extends Moeen’s point further, “You have your perceptions of someone like Virat, who is quite passionate, emotional, in your face and plays it hard. But off the field he’s very calm and you can chat about anything. He’s very down to earth and for someone who has such huge pressures and public focus in India, to see him go about his business in this way quite refreshing.”
Moeen continues to emphasize on his point, “You see him on the field and people might think he’s arrogant but it is the complete opposite. He’s so humble it is almost weird how nice he is. He’s the biggest name in India but will ring me to check I’m OK or ask if I fancy lunch. Sometimes a player will invite the squad to their house for a meal and it would be easy for him to say no. But he would always go. I can say with certainty that anyone who has a bad word doesn’t know the guy.”
Woakes jumps in the conversation, “In my first year of IPL I found as an overseas player you get a lot of attention walking through airports in India. But having him in the team – the No 1, the king – we’re almost irrelevant. It makes you realise what his life is like. So county cricket will be much more chilled and he’ll enjoy that. Playing at smaller grounds, that will be an experience too. Having spoken to him about it, he loves touring other countries.”
Talking about Kohli’s fitness regime and the enormous impact that he has had, the bowling all-rounder says, “Around 30 minutes before the bus leaves for a match, he does what he calls a ‘priming session’ in the gym,” he says. “It’s like a short burst of Olympic weightlifting. It’s certainly different but it works for him. Overall, his fitness work is having a serious impact on the next generation of Indian players. He’s leaner, fitter, more agile than those before.”
Moeen further shreds light on the come-what-may-we-have-to win attitude of Kohli, “And the fact he’s coming in a day and age when people are trying to play as much T20 as they can, that sums him up – he’s just dedicated to improvement. The England series is big for him personally and he’s giving himself the best chance to succeed.”
All eyes would be glued to County cricket when Kohli tours England for his Surrey stint as a lead up to India’s tour of England.