Bishan Singh Bedi lauds Virat Kohli's intensity and integrity for his game

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Bishan Singh Bedi lauds Virat Kohli's intensity and integrity for his game

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SportsCafe Desk

11/30/2017

Bishan Singh Bedi has, once again, has praised Virat Kohli’s commitment to the game and hopes that Kohli will keep his personal and professional pride alive. Speaking at the same event, Kohli also recalled how Bedi's strong training regiment helped him improve his fitness level in his early days.

The Sardar of spin, Bishan Singh Bedi, who coached Kohli during his childhood, has always been an admirer of the latter's work ethic and his love for the game. Kohli plays his game hard but fair, not so different from any quintessential Delhite (Read Bedi, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Chetan Chauhan et al) and Bedi was one of the first one to stand up and applaud Kohli’s intensity and integrity.

“I may not agree with some his gestures on the field but I can’t take away the fact that, the intensity which he shows I haven’t seen in any other Indian cricketer,” said Bedi at the first Delhi and Districts Cricket Administration Conclave, reported Hindustan Times.

“In the last 3-4 years, the amount of information I have learned from Virat Kohli is unreal. His intensity about cricket and his team, I hope he will continue. And he will mellow and he will keep alive his personal professional pride.” 

“That is the keyword, Virat Kohli, ‘Integrity.’ Keep it with you. Your own and your team’s integrity. Think of the millions of cricket followers looking up to you. That is the message I would like to convey to the present generation. To all my young friends playing in the Ranji Trophy and dreaming of a place in the Indian team. Virat is one of you. He is a living example of how to put cricket ahead of yourself.”

Despite the storied evolution in Indian cricket as an icon and the pin-up star for the millennial generation, Kohli has always remained grounded as ever and never forgot the people who helped him get to the pinnacle of his sport. He still visits Rajgopal Sharma and Bishan Singh Bedi for inputs on his game and that respect was on full show in his speech at the event.

“It is indeed an honour to receive the award from Bishan sir. From not understanding the importance of fitness and running away from him in under-15, under-17, under-19 cricket only because he made us train too much to becoming... my life right now is something he has been doing for ages now. So many people have been able to succeed because of that. Thank you, sir.”

“When I started coming to this association to play cricket, like all my friends and teammates, I used to see the super stars of Delhi cricket and legends. I have learnt so much from them and aspired to be like them. To be able to be among them as India cricket captain is indeed an honour. Hopefully, I can keep doing the work that I am able to do till now along with my team.”

The Ranji Trophy, for long, has been the platform for cricketers to showcase their potential to be selected for the Indian national team. But with the advent of Indian Premier League, the selection priority has changed and players now focus more on IPL than the longest version of the game. But Kohli has urged the players to focus on Test format for all-round growth as a cricketer.

"I see only Unmukt Chand sitting here. But I want to tell all of the young generation, please focus on the longer format of the game. I believe Test cricket is paramount for the game to sustain globally. Test cricket is fighting for its survival at the moment. Youngsters need to take to Test cricket for it to survive, not only in our country but globally," Kohli said.

"In our days, Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy were stairs to the national team. But these days, the young boys look at these tournaments only as a means to get a lucrative IPL contract. If you are not playing for the Indian team, you should be playing Ranji trophy. It's sad to see India players have started avoiding Ranji Trophy," Bedi instantly added.

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