Virat Kohli has made a big promise to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fans that he will try to repay the love and loyalty by never leaving the franchise till the time he is playing Indian Premier League (IPL). RCB – one of only three franchises left to win the coveted IPL trophy – have made it to three finals, but have finished as runners-up on each occasion. Interacting with his RCB teammate AB de Villiers during an Instagram Live session on Friday, Kohli spoke about the emotional connect he shares with the Bangalore-based franchise Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, Sardar Singh to Abhinav Bindra: India's Sporting Community Pays Tribute to 'Rare Role Model' Balbir Singh Sr.
Kohli said winning the prestigious IPL trophy remains the goal but he would not leave the team irrespective of the results. “It has been such an amazing journey. It is always going to be our dream, winning the IPL together. There is no scenario where I could think of leaving the team ever.” Also Read - Dean Elgar Willing To Succeed Faf Du Plessis As South Africa’s Test Captain, Says Leadership Comes Naturally to Me
“You can feel emotional about the season not going well but till the time I am playing IPL, I am never leaving this team. The fans, their loyalty has been amazing,” said the India skipper. Also Read - Babar Azam is Very Close to Being in Same League as Virat Kohli, Steve Smith: Misbah-ul-Haq
Responding to Kohli’s feelings towards RCB, De Villiers too acknowledged the support of fans over the past nine years. Kohli, on the other hand, has been with RCB since 2008.
In response, de Villiers joked that Kohli, of course, has the luxury of a safe place in the side which is not the case with the others like him who have to continuously perform in order to retain their berth in the squad.
“Same for me. I never want to leave RCB but to do that I got to keep scoring runs. I am not the captain you see,” said the South African in jest.
Both recalled their early days in international cricket and their growth as cricketers and friends.
Kohli said at times, the youngsters coming in have too much regard for the “system” and he wants to see them break the norm.
“I want to see youngsters coming in scoring 500-600 runs. I want people to break the norm. Sometimes I feel people have too much regard for the system in sport. When you break the shackles, you do something special.”
Kohli also acknowledged the contribution of Mark Boucher, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher early on in his international career.
“Gary always gave me positive feedback. Boucher told me in 2008 to improve my game against the short ball. He had the vision. Then Fletcher, he had a keen eye for the game. So many people who have contributed (to my growth),” said Kohli.
De Villiers picked the 119 at Wankhede in the 2015 series decider as his best knock against India. Kohli picked the 119 he scored in Johannesburg Test in 2013.
“I was always really motivated to win the series after 2-2. I was incredibly motivated to do something special,” de Villiers said.
They also picked their combined South Africa and India ODI team. It included Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn, Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada.