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‘Reached the peak because of Virat’: Harbhajan Singh salutes ‘fitness guru’ Kohli

Harbhajan Singh credited Virat Kohli for helping him reach the peak of his fitness during his playing days.

Virat Kohli was disgusted with himself when he came back home after the Indian Premier League (IPL) back in 2012. A young Kohli wanted to change everything about himself. The Indian cricketer came to the realisation that he was being left behind when compared to international athletes’ standards. Kohli’s below-par IPL 2012 triggered his fitness transformation as the RCB icon became one of the fittest athletes in the world.

Harbhajan Singh credited Virat Kohli for helping him reach the peak of his fitness(Reuters)

Embracing the biggest transition of his career, Kohli introduced lifting into his routine in 2015. Kohli had faith in former Indian strength and conditioning coach Shanker Basu, who was with RCB at the time. Interestingly, Kohli not only transformed his fitness, but the former India and RCB captain also helped his peers in fulfilling their potential as premier athletes.

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Should I order this? Kohli was a food fanatic: Harbhajan

Speaking to Star Sports ahead of the IPL 2024, legendary spinner Harbhajan credited Kohli for helping him get fit. The former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star labelled Kohli as ‘fitness guru’ at the Indian camp. “Absolutely, if we talk about fitness, you only get to know when you look at yourself in the mirror, and you realise that yes, this is not right, and you need to do something about it. A man who could easily eat food for 4 people alone. Every time he used to talk about food, Paaji! Should I order this? He was a food fanatic,” Harbhajan said.

In a previous interview, Kohli mentioned that he managed to maintain the same weight (74.5kg-75 kg) for eight years. Though Kohli avoids eating sweet dishes, the former India skipper had picked Malva Pudding as his favourite dessert at the time. The famous dessert was recommended to Kohli by Harbhajan’s former teammate – Zaheer Khan. On the work front, Kohli is expected to re-join the Indian camp after the England Test series.

‘I will call him fitness guru’

“When I saw changes in him, I questioned, this much control? That he will eat a particular food and only in a particular amount and not more than that and as per timing. He got discipline within himself. He tried to get me in discipline as well. Those 2 years went well for me and I reached the peak of my fitness because of Virat Kohli. He started taking me to the gym. I will call him fitness guru. It’s Virat Kohli who has set the pattern of fitness in the Indian team,” Harbhajan added.


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