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‘He’s got to come down to earth’ – AB de Villiers reveals Virat Kohli was ‘cocky’ and ‘arrogant’ in first meeting

Cocky and arrogant Kohli - AB de Villiers recalls how he found Kohli cocky and arrogant in his first meeting with him
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

In a recent chat with Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers recalled how he found Virat Kohli ‘cocky’ and ‘arrogant’ during his first interaction with the Indian star batter.

Virat Kohli has evolved a lot over the course of his 15-year-long international career, on the field and off it. Once perceived as a hot-headed U19 World Cup-winning captain who would never back down from a fight, he has matured into a husband who celebrates every milestone with a quiet smile and a kiss to his wedding, and a doting father.

In a conversation with Chris Gayle on the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Bold Diaries series, AB de Villiers told how he had felt that Kohli needed to “come down to earth a bit” when the two had met for the first time.


“Oh my goodness, I’ve heard this question before. I’m going to give it an honest answer again. I thought he was quite cocky and arrogant when I met him the first time,” de Villiers told Gayle.

“He had this hairstyle going and he had a bit of a strut going. But the minute I got to know him a bit better and watched him play, I mean I had as much respect for him, but I got to know him better as a human. And I think he had a barrier around him when I met him the first time. And that barrier opened up and I got to know the person, you know.

“Lots of respect after that first meeting. I didn’t not like him, but you know what I’m saying. Nah, he’s a top man, but first impressions were like, ‘oof … he’s got to come down to earth a bit.’”

RCB begin their IPL 2023 campaign against Mumbai Indians on April 2 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

Gujarat Titans are favourites to retain their IPL title with our Match Centre partners bet365. To bet on the outright market of the competition head here.

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