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Crowd puller Virat Kohli recalls when he was jeered by 35,000 spectators at Edgbaston

Crowd puller Virat Kohli recalls when he was jeered by 35,000 spectators at Edgbaston

Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Arguably, the cricketing world has not witnessed a crowd puller like India’s Virat Kohli, as the star batter knows the art of getting the spectators on the edge of their seats to cheer for him. However, according to Kohli, he was once jeered by a 35,000-strong crowd at Edgbaston, England, in 2018.


Virat Kohli made this startling revelation while speaking in the Royal Challengers Bangalore Podcast Season 2. In the initial part of his career, Kohli was known for his aggression on the field. He has calmed down since.


“My heart was pumping because all I could think of was the flashes of 2014. I walked in, and there were about 35,000 people at the stadium, and they all started booing the moment I entered the field. My heart started beating faster. They have this amazing ability to create an environment where you feel like I have got no chance here,” Kohli recalled the incident of being booed by a massive crowd.


In England, there have been multiple individual battles between James Anderson and Virat Kohli. Back in 2014, Anderson maintained an upper hand over India’s legendary batter, prompting many cricket pundits to claim that Anderson was Kohli’s nemesis.


Virat Kohli and James Anderson. (Photo Source: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

This argument was backed by statistics. England’s swing bowler had succeeded in dismissing Kohli at least four times during the 2014 Test series. It was a disastrous tour for Kohli, as he managed just 134 runs in five Test matches, 10 innings.


When Kohli toured England again in 2018, the English spectators were interested in reminding the Indian batter about his past performances in English conditions. However, in 2018, it was an opportunity for Kohli to make a strong statement.


“I remember James Anderson was the guy running with the ball, and I was like, what are the odds here I am facing the first ball from him again after four years. In my mind, I was like ‘please just play the first ball and he bowled it at the fourth stump and I left that ball’. I became calm after that first ball and then I got dropped at 22,” Kohli said, adding that “I could have got out on 22 in that innings but I got 149 and I didn’t look back from there, so that’s when you realised that you just can’t sit there and crib about things that didn’t go right. There are a lot of things that went right. So much weight was lifted from my shoulder.”


Kohli has amassed 8195 runs in 106 Test matches laced with 27 centuries at a healthy batting average of 48. He has also scored 46 centuries in ODIS and one ton in T20Is.


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