It is impossible to overstate Virat Kohli’s significance. The outstanding batsman has done wonders for the Indian cricket team over the years, establishing his status as one of the finest in the world. Not just in India, but all across the world, Virat has a sizable following of supporters. A few of Kohli’s colleagues are also his supporters, in addition to everything else. Former Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun related a remarkable story about one such supporter. And it was bowler Mohammed Siraj who was the player in question.
While Kohli was captain, Siraj played for Royal Challengers Bangalore before joining the Indian squad. The spinner expressed his admiration for Kohli, the franchise captain at the time, to Arun while they were together.
The person that backed Virat the most was Siraj. In “The Birth of New India,” a Cricbuzz Special, Arun stated that after the first season with RCB, he approached me and said, “Sir, mujhe Virat ki tarah hai banna Sir, I want to be like Virat Sir I want to be like Virat kholi I want to be like Virat kholi sir.
He must have grown hungry after witnessing Virat’s success. I added, “If you want to be like Virat, then you will have to make a lot of sacrifices like him,” when I informed him that he would need to do the same. He added.
Virat Kohli is widely praised and sought after as an example by young batters. But for a bowler to say it was unusual. But that also shows the impact Virat can have on a player—not just through his batting, but also through his mindset.
But when Siraj told Arun he wanted to be like Kohli, the former India bowling coach realised the iconic batsman had a big influence on the pacer.
“With bowling, you can develop a recognisable identity. No, sir, I’ll do anything to be like him, he shot back. As he was such a big admirer and had the chance to play for him and beside him, Mohammed Siraj was deeply inspired by this “He kept talking.