Virat Kohli has spent every IPL summer of his international career in the Royal Challengers Bangalore dressing room. During two of those seasons — 2009, 2010 — he shared that space with Kevin Pietersen, the man in the eye of the storm raging in England cricket for several months.
Pietersen, the talented batsman who saw his contract with the English team being terminated earlier this year after a row over text messages, got back into the squad in Mumbai this week. Which is just as well — because Kohli, for one, found it rather surprising to hear all the nasty stories about a player who he believes is a “complete team man”.
“I’m unaware of the intensity of the incident that took place in the England dressing room. A lot of people find KP arrogant, which I find surprising,” Kohli said at the Express Adda in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“It might just be his behaviour towards the England players or personal incidents. But as long as I’ve known him, I’ve noticed that if KP likes someone, he likes them very much. If he doesn’t then he wouldn’t care about what they say,” Kohli added.
“If he knows you well and has spent time on your side, KP is one of the best guys you can ever come across,” Kohli said.
The hottest batsman in the Indian side currently and the ICC ODI Player of the Year for 2012 interacted with a select audience over a range of questions, from his batting to how he handles the female attention that he generates.
At one point, when a member of the audience asked him if he believed in luck, Kohli quipped, “luck or love?”.
Kohli also had a few things to say about the Australians —“the world’s biggest sledgers” — who he said could change quite dramatically depending on which side they were on.
“When the Aussies are on your side, in your IPL team, they are the nicest people. Very friendly, very chatty. But the moment they are part of the Australian team, they are a different bunch. It is very surpising.”