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‘Virat Kohli turned Indian cricketers into…’: Kevin Pietersen’s first reaction after ex-RCB skipper’s subtle message

Kevin Pietersen has reacted after ex-RCB skipper Virat Kohli issued a subtle message following his match-winning knock against PBKS at IPL 2024.

With Virat Kohli serving a timely reminder of his T20 exploits in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, former England skipper Kevin Pietersen credited the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) icon for triggering a remarkable turnaround in Indian cricket. Announcing his arrival in RCB’s first home game of the new season, Kohli played a sublime knock for Faf du Plessis and Co. as the Bengaluru heavyweights outclassed Shikhar Dhawan’s Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the final-over thriller at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Kevin Pietersen reacted after Virat Kohli dropped a subtle message about his T20 future(PTI-Getty Images)

On the eve of RCB’s match against PBKS, Pietersen was on commentary duty with former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri for the IPL 2024 showdown between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Gujarat Titans (GT). Discussing India’s T20 World Cup during the live broadcast, Pietersen backed Kohli to headline the ICC event as Rohit Sharma’s Team India is scheduled to take on Pakistan in New York for the first time. While Pietersen opined that Kohli’s presence can help the game grow in the United States, Shastri argued that India should pick youngsters in its squad for the T20 event.

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After taking RCB home in match No.6 of the cash-rich league, Kohli shared a subtle message about his T20 credentials and playing the shortest format at the highest level. “I know my name is nowadays attached to just promoting the game in many parts of the world, when it comes to T20 cricket,” a smiling Kohli said after the match. As Virat seems to have referred to the comments made by Pietersen, the former England skipper lauded fitness freak Kohli for revolutionising Indian cricket.

‘Kohli has turned Indian cricketers into out and out athletes’

“One of the things that he has done for Indian cricket is he has turned Indian cricketers into athletes, out and out athletes, and while doing so, he’s not just talked the talk. He has walked the walk, and you can see that. When he is running between the wickets, his full commitment, energy and desire is to be the best and he is the best,” Pietersen told Star Sports.

‘Turnaround in Indian cricket is because of Kohli’

Kohli became the first Indian to register 100 fifty-plus scores in T20 cricket. He is joined by Chris Gayle (110) and David Warner (109) on the elite list. The 35-year-old smashed 77 off 49 balls. Kohli fired 11 fours and smoked two sixes in the match-winning knock. “That starts before the field, that starts with diet, the energy he puts in the gym, with the sacrifices that he has made to walk the walk because when you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. That’s what all the other players who have played under you are following you, watch you. The turnaround in Indian cricket is because of what he has done,” Pietersen added.


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