New Delhi: Virat Kohli knows exactly how it feels to be on top of the world when you have barely attained the age to have a driving license. Virat Kohli also knows how it feels when criticism flies thick and fast when one doesn’t perform as per potential after a global trophy.
And no one knows more than Virat Kohli how it feels to be a world beater at a level where it matters the most. So it was nt just “good but a great morning” for the likes of Rajvardhan Hagargekars, Kaushal Tambes, Yash Dhulls connected on a zoom call from their respective hotel rooms in Antigua, they had one of their role models waiting to “congratulate them” and also speak to them about what it means to play an U-19 World Cup final.
India U-19 led by Yash Dhull will take on England in what will be the fourth successive final at this level since 2016. And Kohli knows a thing or two about winning high pressure final at the junior level when his team beat South Africa on a balmy evening in Kuala Lumpur in 2008.
Fourteen summers have passed by and Kohli had become captain and is now a former leader of the senior team with more than 20k international runs to his credit. Whether it was BCCI secretary Jay Shah or NCA chief VVS Laxman, whoever requested Kohli to spare some time for the ‘Baby Blues’ did a remarkable job as there could be few who can tell what it takes to make the grade.
U-19 is just a first stop and even if they win, there are certainly no guarantees that the life will be bed of roses from here on. “It was really good to interact with you virat kohli bhaiyya. Learnt some important things about life and cricket from you which will help us in getting better in upcoming times,” wrote team’s premier pace-bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar on his instagram stories.
“Some valuable tips from the GOAT before the final,” wrote spinner Kaushal Tambe. Their head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar was also present listening intently to what one of world’s greatest batters had to say.
One can be rest assured it was more about the road ahead where a lot of them will fall by the wayside, some will remain confined to domestic level and only a select few with enormous talent and temperament will make the grade. Kohli knows what are the perils of early stardom and how one can get his feet back to the ground. He has seen zenith and nadir and one can only hope this discussion will make these youngsters more rounded as sportsmen than they were before.