Former England star Kevin Pietersen says he knew a young Virat Kohli was destined for greatness after playing with him at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
KP played for RCB in the India Premier League after the bought him at the IPL auction for a whopping $1.55 million.
While Pietersen never tasted success during his brief stint with underachievers Bangalore, he was there long enough to spot Kohli’s obvious talent.
The brilliant batsman has gone on to captain India and has scored more than 21,000 runs and 70 centuries for his country.
He will now lead RCB as the franchise looks for its first-ever IPL title. They are currently priced at 7.50 (13/2) with bet365 to win the IPL in 2020.
“Sitting on the bus with Virat and batting with Virat, I knew he was destined for greatness because of how he approached the game and the way he learned and the questions he asked,” Pietersen said in an interview with Betway.
“He was a chubby little fella back then and I still take the mickey out of him for it. But his determination to be the best player he could possibly be was evident.”
Kohli determined to make it to the top
Pietersen says it was Kohli’s attitude that stuck out about anything in those early days.
He added: “I remember I was winning a game for us against Rajasthan Royals and he ran me out. I gave him an absolute serve walking off the field.
“But you could see this was a youngster who was determined to get his team over the line. He wasn’t just going to give his wicket away and it didn’t matter how many Tests I’d played or how much more senior I was,” he added.
“We do have an incredible friendship, probably because of the way I treated him when he was a youngster and how I helped and guided him at the start of his career.”
Kohli and India struggled in New Zealand recently as they suffered a both Test and ODI series defeats against the Black Caps.
India will look to bounce back against South Africa before Kohli heads home to lead Royal Challengers in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.