Indian Premier League | Virat Kohli relished the time spent with family ahead of tournament

With bat in hand, Kohli changed his game to keep up with modern demands. This was exemplified in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) here on Monday.

Updated - March 27, 2024 07:36 am IST

Published - March 26, 2024 07:24 pm IST - Bengaluru

Virat Kohli plays a shot during the IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Punjab Kings in Bengaluru on March 25, 2024.

Virat Kohli plays a shot during the IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Punjab Kings in Bengaluru on March 25, 2024. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

As the years roll by, Virat Kohli has evolved both on and off the field. 

Now a family man, a father of two, Kohli carries the demeanour of a wise senior statesman.

With bat in hand, Kohli changed his game to keep up with modern demands. This was exemplified in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) here on Monday. Knowing fully well that Kohli can crush anything full, the PBKS pacers kept it on length or just short, but that did not stop Kohli from dancing down the track and creaming it on the up. 

At the post-match ceremony, Kohli spoke eloquently about the couple of months he spent with his family abroad and away from the sport. 

“We were at a place where people did not recognise us. Just time together as a family, just to feel normal for two months… it was a surreal experience. Having two kids, things become totally different. The chance to be together, the connections that you make with your older child, it is amazing,” Kohli said. 

On those magnificent shots over cover, Kohli explained that it is all about making additions to his game.

“People know I play the cover drive pretty well, so they’re not going to allow me to hit gaps. So if they’re hitting length, you have to create some momentum. Once you’re closer to the ball, you negate the bounce by meeting it earlier,” Kohli said. 

Virat Kohli plays a shot during the IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Punjab Kings in Bengaluru on March 25, 2024.

Virat Kohli plays a shot during the IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Punjab Kings in Bengaluru on March 25, 2024. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Having spent his entire IPL career with RCB, the 35-year-old has forged a strong bond with the city.  

“When you look back, you’re not going to think of numbers and stats. It’s the memories that you create. (India head coach) Rahul (Dravid) bhai in the change room nowadays says exactly the same. When you play, you play your heart out because you’re going to miss these times when you are with your friends in the change room playing in front of fans,” Kohli said. 

After a placid 20-ball 21 in the season opener against Chennai Super Kings, Kohli came up with a rapid knock on Monday. 

“I know my name is nowadays attached to just promoting the game in many parts of the world when it comes to T20s. But I’ve still got it, I guess,” Kohli said, to loud approval from the RCB faithful. 

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