“Virat Kohli has changed a lot, I have seen his party phase and tattoo phase” says Ishant Sharma

India fast bowler Ishant Sharma is, in many ways, one of the few people who has seen the growth of former India captain Virat Kohli from close quarters.

After all, the two were teammates during their junior cricket days and they also shared a close bond, something that left Ishant privy to many of Kohli’s habits in his young days.

It’s a well-known fact that Kohli, when he was younger, enjoyed having a good time. And according to one story recently shared by Ishant on Ranveer Allahbadia’s YouTube channel.

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“He (Kohli) has changed a lot. I have seen his party phase and tattoo phase as well. We were playing an U-19 match in Kolkata.

“He was batting overnight, yet partied all night and next day he scored 250. I have seen that phase of Kohli as well!”

However, aside from the rather amusing anecdote that he shared, he also praised just how much Kohli has changed and how much effort went into it.

Kohli underwent a massive physical transformation, not only shedding the excess fat on his body but also becoming more muscular and focusing more on his fitness.

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As Ishant himself stated, as a Delhiite, it is very normal to be a foodie. But Kohli transformed his eating habits entirely and thus became fitter as a result of it.

In fact, the Delhi pacer claimed that he has seen Kohli eat chole bhature – a food that Kohli himself has said is his favourite – only once or twice since the year 2012!

But Ishant did not just praise Kohli’s fitness regime only – he also praised Kohli’s mental fortitude, exemplified by the time Kohli returned to play a Ranji Trophy match right after the death of his father.

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Kohli’s father Prem had suffered a heart attack in the middle of Delhi’s match against Karnataka, and Kohli, as he usually did, had come to pick Ishant up as they travelled to the Ferozeshah Kotla together.

Kohli wore a somber expression, and Ishant asked him why he was so serious and got no response. The person traveling with them, a video analyst, told Ishant that Kohli’s father had died.

Ishant admitted not knowing how to react, and said he was still shocked that Kohli came out to bat and scored 80-odd runs in the game too.

It was clear, even then, that Kohli’s mental fortitude was what would set him apart from others.

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