Talismanic India batter Virat Kohli made a startling revelation about the legendary MS Dhoni, saying that getting in touch with the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper is almost impossible.

Virat Kohli’s remarks about MS Dhoni came during a recent video interaction with the official podcast of his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Recently the Indian maestro went on to script history, becoming the fastest to 25,000 runs in international cricket, shattering the previous record held by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.

Speaking about Virat Kohli’s overall Test record, the Delhi-born cricketer has mustered 8,195 runs at an average of 48.49 in 106 matches for India. He has made 27 centuries and 28 fifties in whites.

However, his dismal numbers in red-ball cricket have worried fans and former cricketers. Since 2020, Virat Kohli has scored 993 runs in 39 innings in Tests at a mediocre average of 26.13, including six half-centuries. Notably, his last hundred in the five-day version of the sport came in November 2019 against Bangladesh in Kolkata.

On the other hand, Virat Kohli has succeeded in changing his fortunes in white-ball cricket, in T20Is and ODIs in the last six months. He ended last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia as the tournament’s leading run-scorer and recently added three ODI centuries to his kitty.

But Virat Kohli went through a horrible run of form from November 2019 to September 2022 across all formats. He also failed to break India’s long wait for an ICC title as skipper.

Virat Kohli said that during his difficult phase, MS Dhoni was the only cricketer – past or present to reach out to him.

“I have experienced a different kind of phase in my career currently. It’s been a while since I felt (this) free in the sense how I felt all these years of playing at any level of cricket,” Virat Kohli said on the RCB Podcast Season 2.

“What is interesting is that throughout this phase apart from Anushka, who has been the biggest source of strength for me because she has been with me throughout this whole time and she has seen me very closely as how have I felt, things that I have gone through, the kind of things that have happened…the only person who, apart from my childhood coach and family…genuinely reached out to me has been MS Dhoni,” Virat Kohli added.

“He reached out to me and you can rarely get in touch with him. If I call him on any random day, 99 percent he will not pick up (the phone), because he just does not look at the phone. So, for him to reach out to me…twice it has happened now and one of the things that he’d mentioned in the message while reaching out to me was that: ‘when you are expected to be strong and looked at as a strong individual people forget to ask how are you doing?’,” he elaborated.

“So, it (Dhoni’s words) hit home for me because I have always been looked at as someone who is very confident, mentally very strong, who can endure any circumstances and find a way and show us the way. Sometimes, what you realise is that at any given point of time in life as a human being you need to take a couple of steps backwards, understand how you are doing, how your wellbeing is placed,” Virat Kohli pointed out.

“So, there are not many places, for the people who have played the game for a long period, as strong individuals, they can go and explain in a way that the other person can understand. That’s why I mentioned this particular incident because MS Dhoni knows exactly what is going on, he understands it because he has been there himself.”

“He has experienced what I have experienced right now. So, it is only out of experience, and feeling those feelings in that moment is the only way you can be truly compassionate and understanding towards another individual who is going through the same thing,” the Delhi-born cricketer asserted.

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Kohli then disclosed how MS Dhoni helped him after the latter handed the Indian team’s leadership to the former.

“With me and MS there was never a question of any awkwardness in that whole period. The reality of the situation is MS choose me,” Virat Kohli said.

“He kind of took me under his wings, and since 2012 he kind of groomed me as a guy who is going to take over the captaincy from him. I was his vice-captain. I was always having conversations with him about what we can do in the field. I was always his right-hand man. I was always there understanding the game and I also got confidence because I was playing a lot of match-winning knocks for the team,” the former India skipper noted.

“I was also giving him a lot of input in the field. I was never someone who was just standing there fielding and throwing the ball back. I always used to go to him when the game was tight. I was always with the feel of the game. I was never really only looking at the scoreboard .. oh these many runs and these many runs. I was more into what’s the pitch doing and what’s the conditions are like, what can we do to break the partnership.. all those kind of things. He understood that very early.”

“That’s why it was very smooth. I always had and still have a huge respect for him for how he captained the India cricket team and obviously how he performed for so long.”

“I never had any kind of ill intentions when it came to MS. I never felt like ‘I should be there’ I always was very respectful of the fact that he has so much trust in me and I can go and talk to him about anything,” Virat Kohli concluded.

Virat Kohli is on a short break and will return to action next week when Team India and Australia take on each other in the third Test in Indore.

The hosts lead the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy 2-0 after comprehensive wins in Nagpur and Delhi.