Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: From being called Cheeku by MSD to becoming India’s most handsome and trendy man, here’s why Captain Kohli decided to get fit

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli is easily one of the best batsmen, and not just that, he aces all formats of the game. The Indian Team captain and IPL Team Royal Challengers Bangalore captain is also one of the fittest cricketers we have seen, and he is often giving his fans fitness inspiration by posting his workouts on his social media. In fact according to a research report released by the Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) today Virat Kohli is seen to be India’s Most Trendy and also leads the India’s Most Handsome list. In fact Captain Kohli and his Bollywood actor wife, Anushka Sharma are seen to be the most Trendy Power Couple according to the report. Virat and Anushka are expecting their first child together.

However Virat, who is celebrating his 32nd birthday today, wasn’t always as fit as he is now. Back in the day (2007) Virat was called Cheeku because of his chubby cheeks. In an interview on stage with Bollywood actor Amir Khan, Kohli had said, “During under 17, I had a haircut due to which my ears looked big, So everyone called me Cheeku rabbit. Eventually Mahendra Singh Dhoni started and stump mic did it’s job. (sic)”

In another interview he had said, “I got my name from the coach I had when I was playing Ranji cricket team. I used to have big cheeks back then. In 2007, I thought I am losing hair. So I got my hair cut really short. I had big ears. I looked like a clown. We used to have this comic book Champak at that time. In which there was a character ‘Cheeku the rabbit’. So my coach used to call me Cheeku the rabbit. From there the name was picked up and now it has gone everywhere.”

 

In another interview with Telegraph, Kohli shared how he was almost 12 kgs heavier, would drink almost daily and not take care of his health until he decided to change that. He said, “Duncan (Fletcher, cricket coach) told me once that he feels cricket is the most unprofessional of professional sports. You can have the skill but do not think you need to train as much as a tennis player. But I realised if you want to stay on top playing three formats in this day and age you need a routine.”

“My training was horrible, I ate so bad, I was up until late, I was having a drink or two regularly. It was a horrible mindset. The season ended and I was so thankful it was over. I went home, came out of the shower one day and looked at myself in the mirror and said ‘you can’t look like this if you want to be a professional cricketer.’

Virat looks unrecognisable in this ad with Anushka from 2013
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“I was 11 or 12kgs heavier than I am now, I was really chubby. I changed everything from the next morning from what I eat to how I train. I was in the gym for an hour-and-a-half every day. Working really hard, off gluten, off wheat, no cold drinks, no desserts, nothing. It was tough.

“For the first two months I felt I wanted to eat the bed sheet when I went to sleep because I was so hungry. I was craving taste. I was craving delicious food. But then I saw the results. I felt quick around the field. I would wake up in morning and feel like I had energy.

 

“From 2015 I changed my training again. I started lifting, snatching, cleaning and dead lifting. It was unbelievable. I saw the result. I remember running after a ball in a Test series in Sri Lanka and I felt more power in my legs. It was, like, ‘wow’. This training is addictive. The last year-and-a-half it has taken my game to another level,” he concluded.

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