Prime Minister Narendra Modi, interacting with cricket captain Virat Kohli via video link as part of the "Fit India Dialogue" today, questioned him about his fitness regime and also - whether he missed that Delhi favourite "chhole bhature" because of his tough regimen.
Virat Kohli, currently on tour in Dubai for the IPL tournament, admitted that he had to accept many changes for the sake of fitness and a good diet. He shared that so passionate he was about keeping fit that "I don't mind missing practice but I feel bad if my miss my fitness session."
The PM joked: "This mantra (fitness) must have meant a huge loss for Delhi's Chhole Bhature!"
Virat Kohli smiled in agreement. "Back in our native region, we had simple home-cooked food and people were rarely sick. But we grew up in city and often had unhealthy eating habits. For my physical fitness, my diet had to change," said the skipper.
"We do miss some food, but it is all about priority, about what we value more. We have to be aware of what we are eating. People need to know what they want from their diet and their fitness plan."
Virat Kohli stressed on the need to keep the team's fitness in sync. "If we don't, we will keep lagging behind. We can't depend only on our skills. Mental strength has to be supported with physical fitness," he said.
"The way we used to play the game changed very rapidly. The game was moving ahead fast, and while we were on top on skill, I feel we were lacking in terms of fitness. Earlier, our performance used to dip because of the lack of fitness...But that is what we have been focusing on for a while now. We give fitness top priority. As a team, we might still lack fitness when compared to some others. Fitness must be on top when it comes to a five-day Test and we are focused on achieving top-level fitness over the five days," said the cricket captain.
The PM asked Virat Kohli about the yo-yo test. He replied: " It is a fitness test that is needed for a player to make the cut to be selected in the team. I make sure to be the first one to take it, knowing fully well that I won't make the team for a match if I am not successful in it." It was important to bring discipline in the system, he asserted.
"Don't you ever feel tired," PM Modi was curious.
"Honestly, we do. That is the result of any physical exertion. But the focus is always on how fast one can recover. With a healthy lifestyle and diet, a good sleep cycle and fitness, our recovery is good," Virat Kohli replied.
Wrapping up the conversation, the Prime Minister congratulated Virat Kohli and actor Anushka Sharma, who are expecting their first child in January.