Kohli all praise for DK's 'honesty and courage' | Video

Kohli & DK
Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik after RCB were eliminated from IPL 2024. File photo: PTI/Kunal Patil

Bengaluru: Premier India batter Virat Kohli has paid tribute to Dinesh Karthik at the end of Royal Challengers Bengaluru's (RCB) IPL 2024 campaign, describing the veteran wicketkeeper-batter as a wise and honest person who lifted his spirits during a phase of struggle in the league's 2022 season.

The 38-year-old, who joined RCB from Kolkata Knight Riders in 2022 for his second stint after 2015, played his last IPL match on Wednesday when RCB were eliminated by Rajasthan Royals in the playoffs.

"Off the field, I have had some really nice and interesting conversations with him. He is a wise man, and has great knowledge about a lot of things, not just cricket," Kohli said in a special tribute video posted by RCB.

The little over 11-minute video features tributes from Karthik's wife and squash star Dipika Pallikal Karthik; his personal mentor Abhishek Nayar; RCB assistant coach Malolan Rangarajan and fitness coach Shanker Basu.

Kohli recalled the 2022 season when he averaged just 22.73 scoring 341 runs from 16 matches as they missed the final bus losing to Rajasthan Royals in the second qualifier.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with him. Even in that phase in 2022 when I did not have a great IPL season, I was really struggling for confidence," he recalled.

"He sat me down a couple of times and just gave me a very honest explanation of how he saw things and maybe I am not able to see them myself," Kohli added.

A veteran campaigner in the IPL, Karthik has been involved in all the editions of the league since the inaugural 2008 season and has represented six franchises.

He ended with 4,842 runs in 257 matches with 22 fifties.

"I just like his honesty, his courage to go and speak to anyone about things that he really feels about. And that, I think, is the most special thing for me when it comes to Dinesh.

"And that's something that I've always cherished about him. And that's why we get along really, really well."

Kohli also hailed Karthik as a technically "correct" and versatile batter.

"I always looked at Dinesh and felt like he was such a correct player technically that he could adapt to any kind of role that's been given to him, and I remember watching him in the 2013 season where he got 600 runs or something and he batted brilliantly at three.

"I saw him play shots which were like 'wow'. I think he's done brilliantly to switch and become a renowned finisher.

"...I wish him all the very best for all his future endeavours moving forward."

Kohli hoped that Karthik would stay connected to the RCB franchise in some capacity.

"...because his expertise when it comes to cricket is priceless. I think he's of great value to this franchise," he said.

Recalling his first meeting with Karthik during India's tour of South Africa in 2009, Kohli said at first, he found him to be a hyperactive and confused person moving all over the place.

"The first time I met him, I remember we were playing in South Africa if I am not wrong in the Champions Trophy 2009. It was the first time I shared the change room with Dinesh, and I found him to be very amusing, very... I would say hyperactive, confused person.

"Most of the time, he was moving all over the place, never stopping. That was my first impression of Dinesh.

"He is an outstanding talent, brilliant batter to watch and my first impression and the present-day impression are not far apart -- just that he has become wiser and calmed down a lot," Kohli added.

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