'It felt surreal' - Mukesh Kumar on celebrating maiden Test wicket with Virat Kohli
Belying constant talks of aggression and his outer on-field demeanour, Virat Kohli has tended to be a softy with his teammates, forever willing to help and being the happiest with their successes.
A fine example of the modern-day legend's cordial attitude and appreciation towards his colleagues came in the rain-marred drawn Test played in Trinidad against the West Indies.
As debutant Mukesh Kumar took his maiden Test wicket, a figure standing more jubilant than even the Bengal seamer was former skipper Kohli, who hugged him immediately and wished him well to bag many more scalps in his promising career for India.
After setting up Caribbean No.3 Kirk McKenzie for the ball taking the outside edge of his flashing willow outside the off-stump on Day 3 of the Test match, Mukesh was seen brimming with excitement in his celebrations. But the person even happier for him was Kohli, who made it a point to be first to high-five the pacer and hugged him tightly.
Mukesh Kumar on Virat Kohli celebrating his maiden wicket
Recalling that moment, Mukesh said it was a "surreal" feeling to have a legendary cricketer celebrating with him and put the cherry on the cake on his maiden Test breakthrough.
It was also Mukesh's first wicket for India after being part of the set-up over the past eight months since his maiden call-up for the limited-overs series against South Africa at home.
The Bengal seamer spoke about the moment and celebrating it with Kohli wearing a wide grin on his face alongside fellow seamer Mohammed Siraj during an interview on bcci.tv.
"When I got the wicket, Virat bhaiya ran up and hugged me. It felt surreal. I was in a different world. The man I have watched all these years on TV and looked up to is hugging you. It felt great," Mukesh said.
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"When you (Siraj) and JD (Unadkat) bhai were bowling, Rohit bhai said 'it's not a pitch where you can get wickets instantly. You need to work hard'. I had to set up the batter with consistent bowling," he added.