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Sushi, football, Rocky 4 and Bruno - get to know what Virat Kohli likes apart from cricket!

Virat Kohli playing football at a promotional event

Bengaluru, May 16: Virat Kohli may top the run charts for the country and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), but did you know that he's a horrible bowler? There have been times when Kohli, who presumably tried to bowl medium pace, lost his footing at the crease and injured himself. Finally, Kohli quit bowling when it began to hamper his back, but the RCB captain says he would have done it if it helped the team's cause.

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At a promotional event for Tissot in the city, Kohli revealed a different side of him - a softer lad from Delhi than the aggressive batsman we know him as. Read on to know things about Kohli you never knew before!

What game do you love apart from cricket?

Kohli: I love to play football apart from cricket. I am a left winger because I am one of the fast runners in the team. All the lazy guys who don't run as much will be waiting in the centre for my crosses. I am so crazy to win that I can't control running back and retrieving possession of the ball. I keep sprinting up and down and that's why I play in that position.

Your favourite food?

Kohli: My favourite cuisine is Japanese - I love sushi. When I am at home, I prefer a lot of spinach and sweet potato. I don't cook much now because I don't have the time. May be later.

Your favourite movie?

Kohli: My favourite movie is Rocky 4 - I have seen it about 50 times at least. In that movie, Sylvester Stallone is down and out, but he shows willpower to get beaten further by the Russian. He's ready to take the punishment and his never-say-die attitude stands out for me. That apart, I love the film's theme song Eye of the Tiger. I listen to it before I go to play.

Anything you don't like about yourself?

Kohli: I am too hard on myself sometimes. It's good and bad at the same time. I need to relax and detach myself from the moment sometimes. I carry it on and get worried about what happened rather than moving on. I have controlled it to a certain extent but there's still a long way to go. That apart, I am slow and lazy when I wake up. There are times when I just lie on the bed for 40-45 minutes doing nothing. I wish I could either sleep at that time or get up and get on with my activity instead of doing nothing.

Any skill that you wish for?

Kohli: One skill that I would have liked to have is bowling. I am really, really bad at it. My action was amazing and I am wrong-footed too. There have been times that I fell down at the crease because I used to use the wrong foot when I released the ball and slide onto the pitch. My back suffered because of the action and then I stopped bowling altogether.

What was Virat Kohli like as a child?

Kohli: When I was a kid, I was a naughty chap. My mother had to run around the house to make me have every meal. I was not at all a calm child and that's good because I think I would have become lazy otherwise. People used to pull my cheeks all my life. The teachers used to pull my cheeks in school and I would think to myself why do they do this everyday. And that was my only concession in school. There was no concession when it came to marks. I was bad at math and the math teacher used to pull my cheeks a lot. I was okay with it thinking I would get some help with the marks, but nothing.

Your fitness regime is something that every sportsman wishes to follow. But when at the gym, does any other member of the team surprise you?

Kohli: There are many guys who are better in the gym than me. One of them in RCB is Umesh Yadav. He's naturally strong and that's why he bowls well. When he lifts weights in the gym, I can tell that he's doing it easily. There's always a difference when you are naturally lifting weights and someone who has worked to get there. Umesh apart, Hardik (Pandya) and Shikhar (Dhawan) are really good at the gym. Ishant Sharma too is a hard working fellow. Jasprit Bumrah has come a long way and that's the fun of team sport. You keep learning from everyone and many are definitely stronger than me.

If you google my images from 2010, you will see that I had a family pack. From 2012-14, it took me two years to transform myself.

How important is innovation in cricket?

Kohli: When your intention is to be good and progress and take the team forward, you have to innovate. Others (opponents) will be able to figure you out and once they do that, you have to switch and improve. I go with my gut feeling and I am aware of what I am doing. I don't innovate the next day, I try to do it within the next hour, and that's how I maintain a high standard. I've followed this for a while - my gut feeling. When you trust yourself, you can get something wrong, but nothing can go wrong from here. That's how it has always been. I plan my innings before going in the middle but you have got to connect with the energy and go with the flow. I follow my heart and it has worked out for me.

Are you an early riser?

Kohli: I prefer to wake up early, train and eat my breakfast on time. That's the kind of mindset I like to have in the morning because of the way my life has gone and what the sport demands from me. I can't miss anything in my daily routine, but I am not crazy enough to wake up at 5 am. I wake up that early when I have to play a Test match. But the routine can be moved by a few hours when I have to play an ODI or a T20 game. It's a bit more relaxed than a Test match but I make sure I don't miss out on my routine. I am flexible that way.

Who's this dog?

Bruno and me are done for the day. Time to crash. 💤💤💤

A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on Sep 13, 2016 at 11:14am PDT

Kohli: My dog's name is Bruno and we got him in 2009. I love spending time with him. He doesn't sleep when I am at home. Otherwise he's lazy. But when I am there, he makes sure he spends a lot of time with me. When I am on the playstation, he doesn't like it. He wants all the attention.

How do you keep the team motivated after a loss?

Kohli: Keeping the team motivated when you are staring at defeat is not easy. The only thing you can do is make them realise there's a lesson to learn from the defeat. Otherwise, you won't move forward in life. Eventually, the goal for everyone is to look forward and this is the time when you learn the most. In my life, that's how it has been. The low points have taught me to filter out the unwanted people. You should know that life is unpredictable and you shouldn't take it for granted. Erase and begin again. Once you achieve something, people expect the good times to stay. But it doesn't happen like that. You go back, delete and do it again. Don't get attached to the achievements, that's my message to others. Get better again. Once they overcome that initial phase, it's easy.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 23:37 [IST]
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