New Delhi: Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter AB de Villiers has opened up about his first encounter with Virat Kohli in 2011 and revealed that when he first met the ex-skipper he found him "cocky and arrogant".
The South African great joined RCB in 2011 and established a rapport with Kohli. The duo together became the mainstay of RCB's batting line-up for almost a decade in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
De Villiers announced his retirement from all formats of cricket in November, 2021, while Kohli continues to be an essential component of the RCB team.
"I've heard this question before. I'm going to give an honest answer. I thought he was quite cocky when I met him for the first time. He had this hairstyle going and he was quite flamboyant," De Villiers said during an interaction with Chris Gayle on RCB podcast.
De Villiers further said that his perception of Kohli changed as soon he got to know him closely. "But the minute I got to know him better as a human, I think he had a barrier around him when I met him for the first time, that barrier opened up. Lots of respect after that first meeting. He is a top man but my first impression was like 'woah'," he said.
De Villiers, who featured in 144 matches for RCB and scored close to 5,000 runs, was recently inducted into RCB's Hall of Fame and his jersey No. 17 was retired as a mark of respect for his contributions.
RCB will begin their IPL 2023 campaign against Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.