Shankar Basu was the biggest factor behind my career going in another template: Kohli

Batting maestro Virat Kohli on Sunday credited former India strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu for his transformation into a supremely fit athlete and said he will continue to train like a "maniac" till the time he plays cricket.

The Indian captain was doing an Instagram live session with the country's top footballer Sunil Chhetri.

Talking about his transformation, Kohli said he would not take credit for it.

"It (fitness and training) is everything for me, I would not take credit for it, for me the biggest factor for my career going in another template has to be Shankar Basu," Kohli stated.

Elaborating, the skipper told the national football team captain, "He (Basu) was a trainer at RCB, he introduced me to lifting. I was a bit hesitant, I had some back issues, it was a totally new concept for me. But within three weeks I was amazed at the results that followed.

"After that, he worked with me on my diet, I started paying attention to what was happening with my body, that's when I realised that because of my genes, I have to work twice or thrice on my body, I am doing the basic thing which my career requires me to do."

Kohli, who turned vegan as part of his fitness regime, has been amassing runs in international cricket and is also one of the team's fittest players.

On training, the swashbuckling batsman added, "Till the time I am playing the sport, I will be a maniac, if you are playing for the country, you have to work hard, if you cannot do that, then you should step away."

During the session, Kohli said he is in awe of Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that his "beast" mentality is extremely inspiring.

"There are lots of people who look extremely good on field but to turn up for big matches that regularly, Cristiano stands out," Kohli said.

Singing praises of Ronaldo, Kohli recalled a Champions League round of 32 match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

"Like he went to Juventus and Champions League game, they lost 2-0 and then prior to return leg, he asked all his friends and family to come and watch the game saying 'it is going to be a special night' and then to play like that, score a hat-trick and take them through, unbelievable," Kohli said.

He said the Portuguese' attitude spires him the most.

"That is beast mentality. I can literally count on fingers the number of people who can have that conviction to say something and then do it like that. That for me is extremely inspiring," Kohli said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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