How Kohli was tamed by Kumble and Jennings

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Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012, 18:57 [IST]
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Kohli was tamed by Kumble and Jennings

Mumbai, Mar 22: Virat Kohli may be the India's recent batting maestro but few know the role played by Ray Jennings and Anil Kumble in the making of Virat Kohli. Kolhi's off-field behaviour and attitude were monitored. Despite the recent success in Australia, former cricketers feel, "Virat has all the tools to achieve greatness. But his attitude is a worry."

But all didn't go well for Kohli when back in 2010 during the third season of IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Jennings and captain Anil Kumble told Kohli to change his attitude, control his temper and fulfill his dreams.

"I've had a relationship with him since he was 18. I congratulated him for beating us (South Africa) at the U-19 World Cup in Malaysia. I told people that this guy would not only captain India, but become the best batsman in the world one day," Jennings told MiD DAY.

"Few years later, Anil (Kumble) and I noticed a trend in him during IPL Season-3. He's an explosive character and always fired up. Sometimes that can lead to his downfall. We asked him to control his anger and focus his energy in the right direction. I've seen the growth of Kohli," added Jennings.

Jennings kept an eye on Kohli's controversies during the tour Down Under. "I was talking to him regularly when he was in Australia. He would tell me, 'Ray, these things are bothering me,' pointing at media speculations regarding him, comparing him to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.

"We have to start accepting that Kohli is Kohli. People always wanted to know more about Tendulkar. But Kohli is more expressive. Kohli too respects people like Sachin, but he occasionally flips up. I don't hold that against him. He's not arrogant.

"Kohli should be allowed to develop.I would hate to see him end up like how others in India want him to end up. When he gets on the field, he wants to win badly. Kohli will be a mentor to people one day, and that maturity will be on display soon enough."

Jennings admits to be 'scared' of Kohli's drive to be the best: "I can never get him out of the nets. It's scary how much success he wants. It's almost like he doesn't want others to succeed. That's an amazing quality. Those are aspects that can be looked at as faults by others, but are strengths that will make him a top cricketer."


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