Virat Kohli is the kind of guy who is aware of his casanova good looks. And like all such dandies he knows what sort of stance to give in front of the camera. But when i went to shoot him for a magazine, I did not want the standard Kohli photographs — him fixing the lens with his piercing big eyes. Virat has a growing reputation of being brash and rude. But he seems to revel in it. Especially as this young bad boy image goes down pretty well with his legions of female fans and advertisers.
I wanted a mellow Virat. The kind of Virat you don’t see on television. He may be the fastest Indian Cricketer to reach 1000 ODI runs and after his debut in the ICC World Cup, where he scored a ton against Bangladesh, many hailed him as the future of Indian Cricket. However at heart Virat is your average 22 year old. So i decided to shoot him at his home where i could get the real Kohli rather than the usual Kohli insouciance of the studio.
When Virat Kohli came into his drawing room I just told him to be himself which I realized was difficult for a man who is used to stylized shots where one is goaded to bring out “attitude” for the camera. We had been waiting for Kohli for 15-minutes to emerge from his room. I saw his perfectly gelled hair and scrubbed face. He had done a thorough job. For some minutes we just looked at each other but soon his beagle came in and broke the ice. Virat picked up the gregarious dog and I got the shots I wanted.
Virat’s mother was the sweet Punjabi host urging us with tea and biscuits. I asked Kohli if he could pose with his mother as she worked in the kitchen. To the surprise of my colleague he agreed.