From being a U-19 World Cup Winning Captain to leading India into the Semi-Finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Star Batsman Virat Kohli has really come a long way.
When Kohli joined the Indian team as a permanent member in 2011, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was leading the side. At that time people used to call him ‘cheeku’ as he was chubby-cheeked. He was a good batsman at that point too, but learning never stops! He used to talk to senior pros like Virendra Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar & MS Dhoni on various aspects of the game so that his understanding of the game betters with every match he played.
India’s Ex- Strength and Mental Coach at the time of historic win in 2011, Paddy Upton has said about his turning point of life.
Upton said, ” I’m guessing one of the turning points came when Virat realised that he is slightly weighted and averagely fit but he wanted to be a best and fit becoming the best he needs to become physically fittest in the world. And that mindset changed his attitude towards his fitness, was proved a turning point and took him to to the highly talented cricketer.”
He added,” not only his attitude translated to his rise to the top, but his hard work also helped him to reach this level, and that made him great from good.”
Kohli took Dhoni’s place in the year 2014 as captain of Team India for test matches. Then took his side to No. 1 in the world, when he amassed 655 at an average of 109.16 in a 4-0 series victory against England. Later on he became the captain of ODI & T20 in 2017.
When he been asked about the captaincy of Kohli and Dhoni, Upton said,” they both are very different. Dhoni is a strong silent type and Kohli is an emotional type player.”
Talking specifically about the Indian Captain, Upton said,“Virat is highly charged and energetic and is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve, which we can see by his regular emotional highs and lows on the field. The way a leader behaves has varying degrees of impact on their team. The more sensitive and slightly vulnerable team members will be most impacted by the leader’s words and actions. A word of encouragement goes a long way to lifting a player and getting the best out of him, and conversely, a display of disapproval has the potential to undermine a player’s confidence. It is possible that in this way, Kohli really pumps players up, and also has the potential to undermine their confidence at other times,” Upton explained.
Upton has worked as a coach of IPL teams, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals and now Delhi Daredevil. He is playing a catalytic role in strategic leadership in the team management.
He has also played Rugby at University level in South Africa and was the conditioning coach of South Africa cricket team at one time