Bengaluru, Nov 24: Like any youngster in India, Virat Kohli too was in awe of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. Now, the Test captain has recalled the days from being "too scared" to talk to him to saying "4 ice cubes" for a drink as team-mates.
Ind-Eng series schedule; Kohli bows to Tendulkar
In an interview to former England captain Michael Vaughan for "The Telegraph" newspaper, Kohli has revealed how it was tough for him to admit to have a drink with his idol Tendulkar when the latter himself had asked.
Kohli spoke to Vaughan after India's resounding 246-run victory over England in the 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam.
"It is a very Indian thing in front of your seniors you do not want to admit you drink or go to parties," Kohli said.
He continued, "Guys were very strict about it when I was growing up. He asked me for a drink. I said I don't drink. He persisted. I said I don't drink. Eventually I said I will have four ice cubes. From then on it was pretty easy."
The 28-year-old Kohli, who carried Tendulkar on his shoulders, around the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after India won the 2011 World Cup, said he saw the batting legend personally at a hotel, for the first time, as a 12-year-old but was "scared to talk".
But later Tendulkar was invited to speak to the India Under-19 team in which Kohli was one of the members.
"I don't remember a word he said because I kept looking at him. You cannot express your feeling when you see the person who is the reason why you started playing the game and you wanted to become like him and then he just walks up. Those five seconds were the worst I swear," Kohli recalled about how he was in awe of Tendulkar when he spoke to the Under-19 players.
In his autobiography "Playing It My Way", Tendulkar had written how Kohli had cried when he retired from international cricket in 2013 and also had touched his feet in the dressing room after his 200th and final Test.
Recalling that day, Tendulkar wrote, "As I was sitting by myself back in the dressing room, Virat (Kohli) walked up to me again. I could see tears in his eyes.
"He held out his hands and said his dad had given him these threads, the kind that Indians wear around their wrists for good luck, and he had always wondered who he would give them to. It had to be someone very special. Then he handed them to me before touching my feet as my younger brother.
He continued: "I was speechless. I held him tight and said, 'Arre tu yeh kya kar raha hain? Tujhe yahan nahi, yahan hona chahiye.' (What are you doing touching my feet? You should be giving me a hug.)
"I couldn't say another word becasue I felt choked with emotion. A lump had formed in my throat and finally I had to ask Virat to leave, knowing I would burst into tears if I tried to say anything else. It was a gesture I can never forget and I wished Virat all the success in his career," he added.