The 36-year-old discussed about learning from sports, missing fans from stadiums and more with Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli.
An Instagram live session held by Puma featuring the likes of Virat Kohli, Pep Guardiola, Sunil Chhetri, Mary Kom and KL Rahul turned out to be a dream come true for sports fans, as they saw giants of their individual fields interact with each other. One such interaction was between the captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli and the captain of the Indian football team Sunil Chhetri. The conversation between the two superstars turned out to be great fun for the viewers.
Sunil Chhetri began by speaking about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his life. “In the first month, I had no clue as to what I’m going to do – not allowed to go out, not allowed to train was difficult. Suddenly, it hits you that life is much more bigger than your sport. I remember talking to you when you had already started your training and that really hit me. I started at home – with being more disciplined. Now, we are allowed to train under a bio-bubble and it feels good to be back. I have a lot of gratitude towards life now, which is the biggest change.”
Both the captains spoke about the lessons they learnt from sports. Chhetri talked about the value of losing. “I think, in life, I have learnt more from defeats. When I’ve won a lot, over a period of time, I feel I become complacent.”
Kohli agreed with him and added, “Yes, you understand that you learn more from losses not victories. When you win, you hardly reflect on things. But, I have realized how you should reflect even when you win. You always have something to improve on, learn and get better at. If we can get that consistency in wins and losses, you can be more balanced going forward.”
The Bengaluru FC forward sympathized with the fans, who wouldn’t be able to go and watch the teams play and also had a message for them. “As a fan, when I got the news that I won’t be able to watch the game in the stadium, I felt bad. Sport is all about fans. I realized live sports gives you so much happiness. It’s equally exciting. When you get an opportunity to watch live sports, there aren’t many things in life better than that. I’m saying it with all my heart. As a fan you have to be patient. Watch the live game on television and enjoy it.”
On being asked about his status as the second-highest active International goalscorer, Chhetri replied,” There is no comparison. I feel happy about it and forget about it.” The captain of the Indian football team further added that it was his passion for the game which keeps on pushing him, “The joy of playing football and the love I get is unbelievable. It’s not something I have dreamt of. I want to give it everything I have got. I don’t take the pressure, I just enjoy it because I’m living a life which I have not even dreamt of. I don’t let even a day go by where I don’t give my 100%.”
Virat Kohli then went on to ask Sunil Chhetri, what game would he want to play with his wife Sonam to which the latter replied, “Well, that’s a really interesting question. I think it would be a relay race because she’s a damn good runner. She can really put you through your paces! Also, it can be a workout session because the amount of weights she can lift is unbelievable.”
On being challenged by Virat to a match of football and cricket the Bengaluru FC skipper didn’t back down. “Well champ, I have been asking you to play a game of cricket with me for a very long time. I would absolutely love to!”
“You know what, I had actually been playing some cricket with U-19 boys in Bangalore. It was a 2-day game with 90 overs to be bowled on each day. Our team had to bowl first, so I had to field for 90 overs and the next day when I came out to bat, I only lasted for 20 balls. I realized then how much concentration the game of cricket demands from you every single second. It is not easy at all! I have massive respect for you champ!”
On being asked to pick one 30-minute training session by Chhetri, Kohli replied, “I will choose weights, Olympic lifting 30-minute sessions of snatch, cleans, overhead squats, split jerk.” The Indian cricket team captain emphasized on the importance of fitness. “I would choose a proper workout any day. If your fitness is not there, your skill is of no use. Fitness is far more important for longevity and to win those important moments.”