MUMBAI: Indian batsman Virat Kohli has said that Pakistani and Indian cricketers have immense respect for each other.
He made the statement during an interview with a foreign news agency.
Kohli admitted that he felt that Pakistan-India matches put extra pressure on the players from both teams but they have respect for each other apart from the on-field rivalry.
He said: “I remember being a little fazed in the first few matches I played against Pakistan. Both sets of players have a lot of mutual respect and admiration for each other.”
Commenting on fixing and corruption in the sport, star Indian batsman said that authorities are doing their best to curb fixing but there is so much that can be done.
“They can set protocols or rules, but the choice boils down to the individual. If someone chooses to do wrong, it doesn’t matter how much you control him,” he said.
The batsman said that he was fortunate of not being approached for fixing matches.
He recalled the touching story regarding his knock in a Ranji Trophy match on the day of his father’s death and how his unbeaten knock of 90 runs helped Delhi avoid a follow on against Karnataka.
Kohli said, “I still remember the night my father passed away as it was the hardest time in my life. But the call to play the morning after my father’s death came instinctively to me.”
He added, “For me, not completing a cricket game was equivalent to committing a sin. Importance that cricket holds in my life is above everything else.”
“My father’s death gave me the strength to fulfill my dreams, and that of my father’s also,” said Kohli.
Speaking on the fitness level today, the batsman said that the all three versions of the game requires players to remain fit.
He said, “Modern-day cricket is extremely demanding, players have to be at their absolute fittest level. Everyone puts in the hard yards now to ensure desired results can be achieved. Test cricket is a journey in itself; it teaches you so much and helps you to find yourself.”