‘Talented’ Virat Kohli became world-class after working on fitness, reveals Paddy Upton

‘Talented’ Virat Kohli became world-class after working on fitness, reveals Paddy Upton

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Former Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton has revealed that Virat Kohli's world-class transformation was all because of his attitude change towards his fitness. He also added that Kohli’s energy has the ability to pump his teammates up which can also undermine their confidence at other times.

Kohli made his debut for India in 2008 against Sri Lanka, where he opened the innings alongside Gautam Gambhir, scoring 12 runs. However, since then, he has gone on to become a World Cup winner and be part of history, captaining India to No.1 in Tests. 

Paddy Upton admitted that once Kohli started working on his fitness, he started becoming better with the bat. He also added that until then, the right-hander was just another talent who was overweight and averagely ‘fit.’ 

“I’m guessing one of the turning points came when Virat realised he was slightly overweight and only averagely fit, and that if he wanted to be one of the best in the world, he needed to also be one of the physically fittest in the world,” he said, reported TOI. 

“This change in attitude around his fitness, was one of the turning points and taking him from a highly talented cricketer who was cruising along, to a highly talented cricketer who was genuinely delivering on his talent,” he added. 

The South African coach was part of the Indian camp when MS Dhoni lifted the 2011 World Cup, giving India their second ODI World Cup win. He added that Dhoni’s calming influence is starkly different from Kohli’s emotional leadership. He revealed that Kohli’s leadership style can be both influential and harmful to the team if the players are not at the same level of mental health. 

“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 impacts on their team. The more sensitive and slightly vulnerable team members will be most impacted by the leader's words and actions,” he concluded.

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