'I didn't understand the magnitude of it' - Kohli on 2011 World Cup triumph
Virat Kohli recalled winning the 2011 World Cup as an aspiring Indian middle-order batter aged 23 as his "career highlight". The modern-day maestro said he "didn't understand the magnitude" of the achievement at the time but with experience of multiple World Cup campaigns under his belt now, he is able to reminisce the memorable triumph for its pathbreaking nature.
India's magnificent 2011 win inspired a generation of youngsters to take up the sport in the manner that the remarkable victory for the 1983 side did with an earlier set of ambitious cricketers, some of whom went on to become legends of Indian cricket.
The victory in front of a billion home fans and being able to lift the coveted crown at the world stage also acted as a springboard for the incredible success that Kohli has since gone on to achieve individually.
The 34-year-old says he couldn't relate to the emotional impact of the victory that his legendary predecessor Sachin Tendulkar felt at the time. But having crossed the bridge of experience and attaining senior status within the set-up 12 years since, he now understands what it must have been like for the numero uno batter.
Kohli recalls 2011 World Cup triumph
"My career highlight is obviously winning the World Cup in 2011," Kohli was quoted as saying by Times of India. "I was 23 at the time, and I probably didn't understand the magnitude of it. But now at 34, and having played many World Cups, which we haven't been able to win, So,I understand the emotions of all the senior players (in 2011)."
"All the more for Sachin Tendulkar, as it was his last World Cup. He had already played many World Cups by then and to win it in Mumbai, his hometown, was very special for him. I mean, it was stuff from dreams," he added.
Kohli talked about the heaps of pressure that players of the 2011 side carried on their shoulders throughout the campaign, stating lack of social media helped ease some nerves for the cricketers as there wasn't the kind of excess trolling and abuse that currently follows every defeat and bad performance.
"I remember the amount of pressure there was on all the players when we were travelling, Thankfully, there was no social media back then. It would have been a nightmare, honestly. But through the airports, it was always just one thing -- we need to win the Cup," Kohli said.
"The senior players were always under the pump and to handle all that pressure. It was just brilliant. And that night (after the WC win) in itself was something magical."