Virat Kohli has opened up on how his bond with MS Dhoni has evolved over the years, saying he has a special relationship with the former Indian captain, which is "difficult to put in words."
In the latest episode of the ICC review podcast, Kohli spoke about his association with Dhoni from the very beginning of his career when the two won the Cricket World Cup in 2011.
There is a heartwarming image of Kohli wrapping the Indian flag around Dhoni after India defeated Sri Lanka to win the 2011 World Cup.
"We were not that open with each other till then (2011 World Cup), because I was still a very young guy in the team. But now looking back at how our relationship evolved, that moment is quite special," Kohli said about the famous picture.
Virat Kohli said, "this picture is special for me. I had the Indian flag with me and then I gave MS Dhoni a hug and wrapped the flag around MS. His innings in the final was absolutely terrific".#INDvPAK | #T20WorldCup | #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/KibyTOalZj— Virat Kohli Fan Club (@Trend_VKohli) October 23, 2022
Kohli revealed that he and Dhoni had great trust in each other, which became a fierce base in their relationship. Explaining it further, Kohli narrated a story about the two batting together and there was never a need to call for runs when the ball was played through the gap.
"What I experienced in my friendship with MS is very difficult to explain in words because it is based on understanding and trust. You know that people talk about batting together and calling for runs. With us, as soon as the ball went into the gap, we never called for runs, because I knew that he was running for 2, I was running for 2 and there was never a case of misunderstanding, even once in about 10-12 years.
But apart from that, we were so focused on what the team needed and we needed to do for the team, all the time. So there was always that trust and always that faith between each other," Kohli explained.
During India's tour of Australia in 2014, Dhoni missed the first Test due to an injury and left the cricket fraternity in shock when he announced his Test retirement after the Boxing Day Test. India ended up losing the series 2-0 by then, which led to speculations of a rift in the dressing room.
Kohli took over the baton from Dhoni in Tests before the became the skipper across formats in January 2017.
In the same interview, Kohli also revealed how the transition of captaincy was smooth and his relationship with Dhoni only grew outside of cricket in the later half of the wicketkeeper's career.
"Within that faith and trust, then the relationship evolved outside the game as well. We spoke on many things, we understood each other's mindsets absolutely clearly and the support he provided in my early days was crucial for my growth. Towards the later half of his career, I was always there for him and the transition between the two captains. For the outside world, it was quite like wow, we have never experienced this before but for us, it was quite normal," he said about their relationship.
"It was never like he was the captain or I was the captain. For me, he was always the same guy. His input was always valuable for me. For us, it was never about who was the captain, it has been a free-flowing relationship. It is something which I am going to cherish for the rest of my life," Kohli concluded.
Kohli captained India from December 2014 to January 2022. After he stepped down as India's T20I and Test captain and was asked to give up the ODI role, Rohit Sharma was named the new captain across formats.