Pakistan told to follow Virat Kohli's ‘You can’t look like that if you're an international cricketer' video | Crickit

Pakistan told to follow Virat Kohli's ‘You can’t look like that if you're an international cricketer' video

Jun 18, 2024 12:55 PM IST

Fans on social media have urged Pakistan cricketers to follow Virat Kohli's fitness transformation after they were knocked out of the T20 World Cup.

At a time when the Pakistan cricketers have been bombarded with criticism for their horror show in the T20 World Cup, which resulted in a group-stage exit, an old video of Virat Kohli highlighting the importance of fitness has resurfaced on social media. In that video interview for a show called 'In Depth with Graham', Kohli talked about his physical transformation and what triggered him to become a fitness freak.

Babar Azam (L) with Virat Kohli(File)
Babar Azam (L) with Virat Kohli(File)

The former India captain said the realisation came at the end of IPL 2012. "I played IPL for four years. I was playing for India at the highest level, but I didn't get the success as some of the established players did. I had a really bad IPL in 2012. My eating habits were horrible in that season. I remember coming back home, I came out of the shower after the team didn't do well... I looked at myself in the mirror and that's the time it hit me. Somehow everything that is bad in me, I get the calling that I need to get it right. There's hardly anyone coming and telling me 'You're really messing up'. It just comes from within," Kohli said.

The right-hander, who is regarded as the benchmark of fitness in world cricket by many, said he lost six-seven killos in seven months and from then on, he has never looked back. "So I saw myself in the mirror and said, 'You can't look like that if you are an international cricketer. How the hell are you gonna continue like this if you don't take care of yourself?' Boom! The next day, I changed everything about my diet. I hit the gym two hours a day. Took just a day off in the week. I got away from all kids of junk. I didn't have a cheat day. Within 8-10 months, I lost 6-7 kgs. From then on, it became such an addiction because I saw the results on the field. I felt quicker, I felt more focussed, so then I decided, this is what I'm gonna do."

The video, shared with the caption "Show this to the Pakistan cricket team," has got close to a lakh impressions in just 12 hours. It also has cricketers like Steve Smith and Sanath Jayasuriya pointing the need to build to a fitness culture in the team.

The fitness standards of Pakistan cricketers have been under the scanner for quite some time now. After they lost to the USA and India and then huffed puffed to a victory against Ireland, which was not enough to get them through to the Super Eight stage, the questions became louder.

According to media reports in Pakistan, head coach Gary Kirsten, who guided India to ODI World Cup triumph in 2011, pulled no punches in his assessment of the team after being eliminated from the ongoing T20 showpiece."There's no unity in Pakistan's team. They call it a team, but it isn't a team. They aren't supporting each other; everyone is separated, left and right. I've worked with many teams, but I've never seen such a situation," Kirsten said as per reports quoting a senior scribe.

The South African, who joined the team immediately after the Indian Premier League, where he worked with the Gujarat Titans, further expressed his displeasure over the fitness and skill levels of the Pakistani players.

"Your fitness levels are not up to the mark and you are far behind the rest of the world in terms of skill levels. Even after playing so much cricket, no one knows which shot to play and when," Kirsten reportedly told the players.

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