Virat Kohli's new revelation shows MS Dhoni wasn't 'only one who reached out' during lean patch
On Monday, in a fresh statement, Kohli revealed that it wasn't just only Dhoni as took took the name of another veteran India cricketer.
Virat Kohli has returned to his vintage self, not just in Indian cricket, but also in IPL, and the talk and criticism around his form now seem a distant memory. Between 2020 and late 2022, Kohli went through a forgettable period. The modern-era great, who was known for scoring centuries at will and tearing apart records, struggled to get to the three-figure mark across formats during that period. Talks about the end of Kohli's dominance and criticism over his form and place in the India team began to reach its peak. And although, the 33-year-old did bounce back, like he always does, in top-class fashion, he had later repeatedly mentioned that MS Dhoni was the only person to have reached out to him during that lean phase. However, on Monday, in a fresh statement, Kohli revealed that it wasn't just only Dhoni as took took the name of another veteran India cricketer.
Kohli had gone through a roller coaster of emotions during that phase. Not only did he struggle to get to that century mark in any of the formats, a row with then BCCI president Sourav Ganguly saw him relinquish his captaincy position in Tests after being removed from that role in ODI cricket. His form hit an unthinkable low following that were he even struggled for a fifty.
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However, last year, after his thundering return in Asia Cup, where he scored his maiden T20I ton to end his century drought, Kohli said in RCB podcast that Dhoni had reached out to him during that phase, not once but twice.
Kohli had said: "The only person who, apart from my childhood coach and family, genuinely reached out to me has been MS Dhoni. He (Dhoni) reached out to me and you can rarely get in touch with him. If I call him on any random day, 99 per cent he will not pick up (the phone), because he just does not look at the phone. So, for him to reach out to me, twice it has happened now, and one of the things that he'd mentioned in the message while reaching out to me was that: 'when you are expected to be strong and looked at as a strong individual, people forget to ask how are you doing?'"
On Monday, in his interview with veteran India cricketer Robin Uthappa on JioCinema, Kohli mentioned that the former was also in touch with him during that phase.
“Because I was not in a space where I was comfortable with myself, I was looking for all kinds of excuses that it must be happening because of this and that or technical changes. But you were in touch with me at that point of time and I beyond a point I figured out people cannot feel what I am feeling. You sensed something with my body language and asked 'Are you okay? Just wanted to check in on you.' That happened very rarely,” he revealed.
The former RCB captain added that Uthappa act held significance amid a umpteen people suggesting him various alternatives to break the shackles without understanding that his problem laid elsewhere.
“Everyone was like we observe this and this is the solution for it. I couldn't get the point across that whatever shortcoming is there is because of this (pointing towards his head). When you are not right mentally, you are all over the place. There were no technical issues because I have done this for 15 years. It can't be that all went to a standstill and the technical issues pop out right now. When I came back fresh and started hitting the ball again and people were like 'oh you made some serious changes'. But I didn't pick up the bat for six weeks.”