Virat Kohli is on a roll at the moment, with fans and cricket commentators running out of words to describe his skill on the field. From accumulating big runs to successfully leading the Indian cricket team, Kohli is doing things that have made people dumbfounded in admiration and awe. The 28-year-old continues to set the standards not just with the bat but also when it comes to physical fitness. Former team trainer, Shankar Basu, even termed Kohli as fitter than tennis superstar Novak Djokovic.
Those who have tracked Kohli's career from his junior cricket days know that the Delhi cricketer wasn't the most athletic player in the park. What they don't know about are the sacrifices that went into Kohli shedding those extra kilos.
His childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma says that his most famous pupil's staple diet at the time was mutton rolls and butter chicken.
The coach told a cricket website that he admires the way Kohli has transformed himself according to the needs of the modern game.
Kohli follows the age-old saying, "you are what you eat". At an event in Delhi last year, he had advised people to eat fresh home-cooked meals, instead of gorging on food at restaurants. 'Don't eat less, but have home-cooked food that is any day a healthier option', is what Kohli advocated at the time.
He had once revealed how former India coach Duncan Fletcher's taunt played a key role in his fitness and that an impromptu conversation had helped motivate him.
"Duncan told me once that he feels cricket is the most unprofessional of professional sports," Kohli told The Telegraph after India won the second Test in Vizag to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series against England last year.
India's batting mainstay admitted that it was tough to follow the strict regime initially.
"It changed in 2012. I had great tours to Australia and scored 180 against Bangladesh and went into the IPL thinking, 'Wow, this is going to be a great season for me'. I wanted to make it my tournament and dominate the bowlers. I really struggled.
"My training was horrible, I ate so bad, I was up until late, I was having a drink or two regularly. It was a horrible mindset.
"I was 11 or 12 kg heavier than I am now, I was really chubby. I changed everything from the next morning -- from what I eat to how I train," he had said.
(Images from Virat Kohli/Facebook)