There’s no measure to how much Sachin Tendulkar has impacted me, reveals Virat Kohli
“What he did from the pure skill point of view, just the way he was able to bat, was so much more different to anyone else and that just fascinated me. I was like man, this is so much more different and it was so captivating you just couldn’t take your eyes off when he was batting. I used to go to these shops and get my packet of chips and my nibbles and just sit in front of the TV to watch him bat, and it was just pure joy,” Virat Kohli reminisced in an interview with renowned sports anchor, Graham Bensinger.
“I used to tell people, I want to be like Sachin.”
Tendulkar bid adieu to the game at home in 2013 in a Test against West Indies and Kohli famously had offered him his dad’s sacred thread. Considering Kohli’s rise was born out of the desire to fulfil his dad’s dream and he has often dedicated everything he has achieved to him, the gesture held a very special meaning.
“We knew that this is his farewell series, but till the time we got to Mumbai, the last test of the series, last day off that game, is the time that it hit everyone that Sachin Tendulkar was not gonna play for India ever again. Imagine for 25 years there’s one name that’s been a constant in the Indian Cricket Team and now he’s not gonna be there. All of us felt hollow and empty because there was no one in the team that didn’t look up to him.
“So that was a very emotional thing for us to process, but his emotion obviously was of a different level at that stage. In front of his people going out like that, the most amazing farewell I have ever seen. Then I remember in the change room, I just felt like paying respect to him. I mean I thought there’s nothing I could ever give him to make him understand what impact he’s had on me, how he’s inspired me.”
“So I was like my father gave this to me and I think I couldn’t give you anything more valuable, and I just want you to know how much you’ve inspired me and what you mean to all of us. This is my little gift,” recalled Kohli.
Sachin Tendulkar was quick to recognize what it means to the young man as well as to himself and Kohli states his reaction made the fact pretty evident.
“I think he understood what he’s done for the young cricketers growing up in this country, and I think it was a pure [reaction].”
Source : sports cafe