Sports Cricket 19 Jan 2017 How Virat Kohli gave ...

How Virat Kohli gave up on butter chicken, mutton rolls for healthy appetite of runs

DECCAN CHRONICLE | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 19, 2017, 1:34 pm IST
Updated Jan 19, 2017, 1:53 pm IST
Virat Kohli’s transformation from being a chubby guy, who loved gorging on butter chicken, to one of the fittest athletes has been inspiring. (Photo: AFP)
 Virat Kohli’s transformation from being a chubby guy, who loved gorging on butter chicken, to one of the fittest athletes has been inspiring. (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: Virat Kohli, who is reaching new milestones for fun, etched his name in the record book after notching up his 27th ODI ton during the first India versus England ODI in Pune on Sunday.

While India looked down and out with 63-4, Kohli, accompanied by Kedar Jadhav, stunned the visitors to seal a thrilling three-wicket win at the Maharasthra Cricket Association Stadium.

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The ton in the Pune ODI was Kohli’s 17th in a chase; 15 of which have powered the Indian side to victory. While the world is going gaga over Kohli’s appetite for success and runs, one must also have a look at how the man made a massive transformation in his diet to reach the peak of his fitness.

Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma revealed how a butter chicken loving Kohli gave up on the culinary delights to take his game to a whole new level.

“Kohli once told me, if I don’t set the benchmark as captain, who else will? Even as the world looks on in wonder, I know the boy behind the man. He used to gorge on butter chicken, rolls and all sorts of fast food. But today, it finds no place in his diet,” Sharma said in an interview to CricketNext.

Kohli once used to gorge on butter chicken, mutton rolls and fast food. In fact, there is an image of his, during India’s tour of England in 2014, peaking into a McDonald food bag to check out what is inside. But such food is no longer a part of Kohli’s diet.

“In fact, he is so particular about his diet, that even when he comes over to my place, he won’t have packaged fruit juices. You either give him fresh juice or you don’t. Carbohydrates are a strict no-no and there are no off days in his routine anymore,” Sharma said.

“See, it is easy to do these things for a short or particular span of time. But to make it a constant routine and life style is what makes me proud. It takes a lot of devotion and focus to restructure your lifestyle to this extent. He has cut down on carbs and doesn’t even have chapatis. It is either grilled or boiled food for him. Even his coffee is without sugar and definitely no packaged fruit juices for him,” Sharma added.

Sharma also lauded Kohli’s trainers and the self-discipline shown by the batsman himself. Sharma said: “I would be lying if I take all the credit for this. Yes, I did suggest working out for a couple of hours and maintaining discipline, but credit also goes to the trainers in the team as they made him further believe the importance of physical fitness and its direct effect on the game.”

“In the last two or three years, he has taken fitness and his eating habits to a different level. He takes it so seriously that he got a gym built in his new house. He has this belief that fitness is very important if you have to succeed in international cricket. And his only goal in life is to keep raising the bar,” Sharma added.

“Talent was never a problem with Kohli, but then, the effect of the gruelling fitness regime is that he has more stamina and can keep picking the singles and doubles and turn the singles into doubles. He doesn’t tire down and hence the need to play risky shots go out of the equation. Whatever be his work schedule or travel scene, he always finds time to hit the gym,” concluded Sharma.

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