'He Was A Bit Cocky..,' When Ab de Villiers Revealed His First Impression Of Virat Kohli
Ab de Villiers and Virat Kohli [x.com]
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, two stalwarts of the cricketing world, share more than just a formidable partnership on the field; they share a great friendship that has withstood the test of time. Whenever the conversation turns to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the synergy between these two players becomes the focal point. Their camaraderie has become legendary, transcending the boundaries of the cricket pitch.
In a revealing glimpse into their relationship, AB de Villiers, in a candid moment on the RCB podcast in 2022, disclosed his initial impression of Virat Kohli during the early days of the latter's career.
Here's what he said:
"We ran into each other few times before we properly met. I knew about him, he knew about me. I said it a few times that I thought he was a bit cocky when he was a youngster, so that was my initial impression. Even though I could see that he has got respect and the basics are in place, I felt like he has got a bit of swagger going in. So, I didn't hold it against him because you need it at that point of age. We had a really short discussion, I didn't give him any compliments or anything like that. But, I remember clearly at Wanderers when I got picked up by RCB, and it was nice discussion of looking forward to play together."
Their paths crossed a few times before a proper introduction, and it wasn't until 2011 when de Villiers joined RCB that their friendship truly blossomed. Contrary to de Villiers' usual tendency to keep a distance, he and Kohli found an instant connection, with their shared approach to the game forming the bedrock of their bond.
"Once I got to Bangalore, we sort of the connection just kicked off straight away. Our proper friendship started when I started playing for RCB in 2011. That's probably when we started becoming good friends. I am kind of a guy where I don't really keep in touch but for some reason with Virat it just happens, so we stay in touch. It's easy as he is on telly (Television) the whole time when I am at home," he said.
Despite his initial impression, de Villiers expressed his eagerness to play alongside Kohli. The 2011 season marked the beginning of a genuine friendship, with both players finding common ground in their fighting spirit on the field.
Their on-field chemistry, characterised by audacious strokes and calculated risks, mirrored the off-field connection that continued to grow. Even after de Villiers announced his retirement in November 2021.