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What Kohli taught Yuvraj

Sharda Ugra in Delhi

April 11, 2012

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Yuvraj Singh can barely control his emotions, while Virat Kohli is all smiles, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
Yuvraj Singh on Virat Kohli: "I saw his work ethic and wondered why I didn't have that work ethic when I was his age." © Getty Images
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Yuvraj Singh has said that Virat Kohli is a "very special kid" and that he had learnt a lot from the early years of Kohli's career. "Since the time he has joined the Indian team, I saw his work ethic and I wished and wondered why I didn't have that work ethic when I was his age," Yuvraj said during his first media conference on returning to India after receiving treatment in the USA for a rare cancer.

Kohli has come to represent the most promising face of Indian cricket currently and was even appointed vice-captain ahead of Gautam Gambhir for the recent Asia Cup. At the start of the 2000s, after he made his ODI debut for India, it was Yuvraj who belonged in those shoes. He was asked as to what his advice would be to Kohli to prevent him from repeating the mistakes Yuvraj himself may have made ten years ago.

As the question ended, a grin broke out on Yuvraj's face and his reply in Hindi was completely tongue-in-cheek. "Woh bahut badi cheez hai" roughly translates as a description of Kohli being both the next big thing in cricket as well as quite a character.

More seriously, Yuvraj said that Kohli was a "very special kid" and "really talented". "Actually I have learnt a lot from him," Yuvraj said. "His work ethic is brilliant, his focus is immense. Since the time he has joined the Indian team, I saw his work ethic and wished and wondered why I didn't have that work ethic when I was his age." Yuvraj said he talked a lot to Kohli because he had realised that for an Indian cricketer, early success made his 20s "a very vulnerable age." "When you get success in your 20s, you can get vulnerable and it can affect your focus. So I try and help him with whatever I can... at times you have to keep him in check, under control sometimes."

Kohli's tally of 11 ODI centuries in 85 ODIs over a four-year period was "a phenomenal record," according to Yuvraj. He said he wished he could have had such a record, "but unfortunately I batted down the order, but he is a very special player in the making." Yuvraj was happy to see Kohli being made India vice-captain at a young age and said, "I hope he goes up the ladder stronger and stronger. I am very happy for his success."

Edited by Abhishek Purohit

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by champ1388 on (April 12, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

KiwiRocker... I doubt your knowledge and I am not sure how much u follow cricket. Kohli has hardly failed anywhere ..he wasnt A SITTING DUCK , in England a phrase u often use for the indian players. He scored in the one day series in South Africa, he scored a century in the UK (cardiff). He scored in Perth and Adelaide. He scored in one day series in Australia too. He smashed your overrated pak bowlers all around the park and made them look below club level bowler. Your hate for Kohli is quite obvious. I hope u return on this forum

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Delhi Lad learning very quickly and proving himself worthy in all situations ...The way he has created his position in Indian Team by grabbing small small opportunities is really gr8 to see....Raina and Rohit should learn from him.. The way he plays and entertain really amazing but to lead Indian team, selectors should give him ample amount of time so that he matured in his age and thinking....... Go Virat......!!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (April 12, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

@kiwirocker . KOHLI ONLY PLAYED IN ODIS IN ENG . IN 5 ODIS HE MADE ONE HALF CENTURY & ONE CENTURY . IN AUS HE WAS FLOPPED IN FIRST TWO TESTS . BUT IN PERTH HE MADE 75 IN SECOND INNINGS & IN ADELAIDE HE SCORED A HUNDRED . IN CB SERIES HE HIT 2 HALF CENTURIES & ONE CENTURY . SO IN TOTAL AUS TOUR HE MADE 3 HALF CENTURIES & 2 CENTURIES WHICH IS A VERY GOOD RECORD CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT HE IS ONLY 22 YEARS OLD & THIS WAS HIS FIRST AUS TOUR . ALSO IN DHAKA HE HIT MANY BOUNDARIES AGAINST THE LIKE OF AJMAL AGAINST WHICH WHOLE ENG SIDE STRUGGLES .

Posted by satish619chandar on (April 12, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

As of now, Virat is in good form and he is cashing on it.. But what separates men from boys is to do it consistently on all stages.. Let Virat be the Vice captain of the team and captains swapped across formats.. MSD/Viru/Gauti all are decent captains and if MSD doesn't prefer tests, lets have Viru/Gauti leading the test team, and Virat as his deputy in all formats.. Let him learn the trade and am sure the additional responsibility might change his behavior too.. Let him be under shadow like ABD and take it up day by day..

Posted by Haleos on (April 12, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

@Aashishk3 - i hope he does not become anything like the current tendulkar. He just chases records nowadays.

Posted by sweetspot on (April 12, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

@Yevghenny - So the rest of the world lost the World Cup to a less than international side? It's a skill game, and if its highest crown was to be won by wiry, strong, fit, lean, disciplined sides, SA would have won it thrice by now, at the very least.

Posted by Haleos on (April 12, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

@Meety - when such behavior is shown by Oz/English/SA cricketers it is said they are playing though cricket. Eg. Slater and entire Aussie team of that time, S Board, Andre Nel etc. Why is it that people can not digest it when an Asian cricketer does it. He is termed as arrogant.

Posted by soumyas on (April 12, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

yuvraj with teammates like bajji lost their mind. they behaved badly when they got success...

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

seeing the current IPL performance, the talents are without doubt Rahane & Rohith...they are class players some shots played by both these players are mindblowing..but other expetec lots like Manoj tiwary,Sourav tiwary,Manish Pandey,Surya Kumar yadav ( yes he faced only 2 balls...),Mayank Agarwal,Chetheswar Pujara all throwing their wickets...But Mandeep Sing and Ashok Meneria is coming good..

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (April 12, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

This is the same old script that has been seen in the Indian cricket. Virat Kohli is an above average player who is made to look good among Pathetic Indian batsmen and bowlers( worse in the world) who are milking the worthless circus IPL. Kohli was a sitting duck in England on seaming pitches, he miserably failed in first half of Australia tour..Mate! scoring few runs on flat Dhaka pitches thanks to favourable second inning conditions does not make you Sir Viv Richards..Virat Kohli is without a doubt proming young talent. He should not be burdened with all this hype...Same was done to poor Irfan Pathan who was started to be compared to Wasim Akram after couple of yorkers..Indian back bench talent is very thin and failed players like Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are still getting unnecessary chances- They failed everywhere in the world and score an odd innings on flat pitches and are touted as big things! This will continue until the most over rated batsman of history,Tendulya retires!

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