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Of Kohli's gratitude-filled gesture and that funny nickname

October 18, 2016 11:12 IST

A new book on Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli, chronicles his life and relationships with his coach and teammates

India Test captain Virat Kohli   

IMAGE: Virat Kohli

It is a well documented fact that Rajkumar Sharma's contribution to Virat Kohli's progress from a precocious talent to a world-class batsman has been immense.

A strict disciplinarian, the 'Guru' had become emotional on Teacher's Day in 2014 by a gesture from his 'shishya', which he would never forget.

In the book 'Driven', chronicling the life of the Indian Test captain, written by veteran sports journalist Vijay Lokapally, one such overwhelming incident has been noted.

Quoting coach Raj Kumar, the author wrote: "I answered the bell and found Vikas (Kohli's elder brother) at the door.”

"His brother's arrival at his house so early in the day was cause for concern. Vikas stepped into the house, dialled a number and handed his cell phone to Raj Kumar.

'Happy teacher's Day Sir,' said Virat, even as Vikas thrust something into Rajkumar's palms -- a bunch of keys.

"Rajkumar stood perplexed as Vikas requested him to step out of his house. A gleaming Skoda Rapid was parked at the gate -- a gift from Virat to his mentor."

"It was not merely because he had gifted me the car. It was because of his emotional touch to the process of reminding me how much he treasured our association, and valued the role of a teacher in his life," Raj Kumar reminisced.

Virat Kohli 

IMAGE: Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

The book also makes a mention of funny incidents from Kohli’s life; this one is about Virat’s pet name.

Yuvraj Singh in his book 'Test of My Life' wrote he thought that Kohli must have got his now famous nickname 'Chikoo' from the famous comic series 'Champak', which had a character by the same name.

But the book reveals the 'secret' behind Kohli’s 'fruity nickname'.

The author writes: "The Delhi team was playing a Ranji Trophy match in Mumbai. Virat has not even played a total of 10 first-class matches. He was a part of set-up that included players he had looked up to -- (Virender) Sehwag, (Gautam) Gambhir, (Rajat) Bhatia and (Mithun) Manhas. He was more than happy to be sharing dressing room with them.

"One evening, he returned to the hotel with his hair nicely cropped. He has spotted a fancy hair salon close by and given himself a new look. 'How is it?' he asked excitedly as he ran into a couple of younger colleagues. 'Not bad, you look like a Chikoo (Sapodilla)," joked Ajit Chowdhary, the assistant coach looking from a distance.

"The name struck. Chikoo. Virat didn't mind it all.

"He was still trying to find his feet in the big world of domestic cricket circuit. He liked it when he got attention. I have not known a more competitive youngster. He was just hungry for more -- runs and attention," said Chowdhary, the only person other than coach Rajkumar Sharma to have admonished Virat." 

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