‘He Said This is not 2014…’: Virat Kohli Recalls Chat With AB de Villiers Which Helped Him Before 2018 England Tour

Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari

Last Updated: February 26, 2023, 17:42 IST

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli share great camaraderie (Twitter Image)

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli share great camaraderie (Twitter Image)

Virat Kohli had a forgettable tour of England in 2014 where he scored just 134 runs in 10 innings.

Batting maestro Virat Kohli recalled how a chat with legendary AB de Villiers before the 2018 England tour helped him overcome the ghosts of pasts. Kohli had a forgettable tour of England in 2014 where he scored just 134 runs in 10 innings. The batting maverick struggled miserably against James Anderson in the swinging conditions as the veteran pacer got the better of 4 times in the Test series. He registered a string of low scores – 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20.

He came under scrutiny after the tour as many started raising questions over his Test batting credentials. However, Kohli silenced them soon by scoring a plethora of runs later that year on the Australia tour.

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While the spotlight was once again on Kohli when India toured England in 2018 and he was also the skipper at that time. The batting maverick managed to overcome the ghosts of the past and ended up scoring 593 runs in 10 innings which included two centuries and three half-centuries.

The 34-year-old said that he had a chat with his former RCB teammate De Villiers before the 2018 tour and a chat with him helped him become calm.

“I remember AB telling me at that time. I spoke to him that I am feeling a bit jittery because I am not able to go and play in the county. He said this is not 2014, and you are not the same player. You would be absolutely fine. I became very calm after that. Before going to England in 2014, I had a good series at home against New Zealand. I scored a century and a 70. I was high on confidence,” Kohli said on RCB Podcast Season 2.

The former India captain suggested that he was under a lot of pressure on 2014 tour of England as he was a bit desperate to prove that he can play there but things changed when he travelled back there in 2018.

“When we went to England in 2014, I thought I needed to prove myself here that was wrong in the first place. Because I went there to prove something that I can play in these conditions and not go there to kind of make my team win, that wasn’t my focal point. My main aim was to I need to prove that I can play here. I was always under pressure. And once things went back I was not able to find a way to get out of that. It was a very bad phase,” Kohli said.

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“From 2014 to 2018, I did everything everywhere in the world and performed in every condition. But people just held on to one thing ‘Ohh but what about England’. That’s when I realised that probably I played cricket at a level of which I am certainly very proud of. I have won so many games for the team, but people are constantly looking at things which has not gone right,” Kohli added.

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