Why Virat Kohli was scared of Bishan Singh Bedi as a young Delhi cricketer
Virat Kohli, Indian cricket team captain, was felicitated along with other Delhi stalwarts in the inaugural annual conclave of the state association. Bishan Singh Bedi presented Kohli a special trophyUpdated: Nov 29, 2017 22:59 IST
The Indian cricket team is riding high, and skipper Virat Kohli has become as much a driving force with the bat as he is with setting fitness standards.
While Kohli’s fitness levels are there for all to see as he has gone on compiling one big innings after another, it has also pushed his teammates towards making India the best fielding side in the world.
However, it was hardly like that early in his career, confessed Virat Kohli on Wednesday as he was felicitated at the inaugural annual conclave of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.
Receiving the citation, Delhi cap and a special trophy from Bishan Singh Bedi, Kohli revealed he was also at the receiving end of the uncompromising fitness demands made by the former India skipper as Delhi coach.
“It is indeed an honour to receive the award from Bishan sir. From not understanding the importance of fitness and running away from him in under-15, under-17, under-19 cricket only because he made us train too much to becoming... my life right now is something he has been doing for ages now. So many people have been able to succeed because of that. Thank you, sir.”
Virat Kohli told a large audience that included many past Delhi captains, including Virender Sehwag. Ishant Sharma, Delhi Ranji skipper for the season and whose bowling in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur also underlined the new fitness mantra, had just left.
“When I started coming to this association to play cricket, like all my friends and teammates, I used to see the super stars of Delhi cricket and legends. I have learnt so much from them and aspired to be like them. To be able to be among them as India cricket captain is indeed an honour. Hopefully I can keep doing the work that I am able to do till now along with my team.
“I hope to bring many more laurels to the country and inspire many kids to take up Test cricket, which is paramount for cricket to sustain globally and in our country. Whoever is there I would urge them, want them to take up Test cricket. My message to all the youngsters coming up in Delhi circles is to take up the longer format.”
Many Delhi stalwarts, including the trio from India’s 1983 World Cup-winning side, Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal and Kirti Azad, as well as former India opener, Chetan Chauhan, were felicitated.
BEDI, AMARNATH STANDS
The eastern stand at the Ferozeshah Kotla was named after Mohinder Amarnath and the western section after Bedi. A gate named after former India women’s team skipper Anjum Chopra was unveiled. The Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Hall of Fame was inaugurated by the late India and Delhi skipper’s wife, Sharmila Tagore.
Tracing the rise of Delhi cricket, for which Bedi played a pivotal role after moving from Punjab, as well as the run-ins with West Indies and Pakistan, he batted for preserving the game’s tradition, especially accepting the umpire’s decision.
“The entire world is getting wrapped up in DRS (Decision Review System). In effect, it is challenging the umpire’s decision… Whatever cricket’s existence has been challenged, it has been done by cricketers.”
Bedi said India players must play in the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy tournaments. “We had them as ladder while going up. But we have thrown away the ladder, and that means we will fall with a thud.”
Stressing on integrity in the game, he praised Kohli’s approach to cricket. “I may not agree with certain gestures he makes on the field, but I haven’t seen his intensity in any Indian player. I’m sure he will mellow.”
Former India pacer Rajinder Pal questioned Pataudi’s commitment to Delhi cricket, but Bedi defended the man behind the rise of the famed spin quartet. “Tiger taught me to put cricket ahead of me. His contribution for India is enormous, and India is bigger than Delhi.”
The Indian team also owes it to Pataudi for establishing the tradition of not making public anything transpiring in the dressing room, he added.
First Published: Nov 29, 2017 22:58 IST