As he prepares to lead his side against arch rivals Pakistan in the Champions trophy, Virat Kohli must take a moment to look back at his journey so far. It has already been an incredible career for the swashbuckling batsman from Delhi. From a boy who flipped the bird to the Sydney crowd, to now the premier batsman and captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli has indeed come a long way. And in a recent interview, Virat Kohli credits Anushka Sharma for influencing his life in a positive manner.
The Indian skipper mentioned how Anushka’s influence has made him a much more calm and stable person. He has given her the credit for making him more of a feminist in recent years, while she is also completely responsible for his new found compassion towards animals.
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All this and much more, as Kohli speaks about Anushka, his father and playing against Australia.
“I feel you have to be competitive no matter what. If you are not competitive in your body language and energy, there’s no point playing the sport and representing your country.”
“I like playing against Australia because it’s very hard for them to stay calm. I don’t mind an argument on the field and it really excites me and brings the best out of me and they don’t seem to be learning the lesson.”
“I have always been fond of animals, but I never had the compassion and love that I feel now, and that’s mainly because of Anushka. She has changed the way I see these things, and the way I think about animals; now I’ve genuinely started feeling this deep love for them.”
“I strongly feel that if something needs to be addressed, I will go out and say it. I’m doing a particular thing in my life with my profession and suddenly I find myself in a place where people are listening to what I have to say. And I feel once you have the chance to even influence five people, you should voice your opinion for the things that need to be addressed. You need to be brave about the things you want to take up.”
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“People are very chauvinistic in this country. I certainly wasn’t aware of that growing up, to be honest. But I have started to see myself as a feminist.”
“The intolerance I see… many people don’t even know that they are intolerant, and many of them don’t want to change. At some point, it becomes a personal choice, and I would definitely want to think about life from the side of the woman. Everyone should be a feminist.”
“My father, my brother, my mum… they took me to every single game, every single practice. They would come and watch me play everywhere, in all kinds of places. At one time, I used to practise seven days a week, and my father or my brother would always be there at every session, and they did this till I was grown up enough to go alone.”