Meat-free eating, coffee & cricket: How Zampa bonded with a ‘caring’ Kohli in IPL 2020

Revealing Kohli's caring attitude towards team-mates, Zampa said on his first day in this year's IPL, a WhatsApp message popped up on his phone from a number he did not recognise. It later turned out to be Kohli.

Virat Kohli and aggression go hand in hand which is probably why his on-field image is that of a combative superstar. However, according to Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, the India captain is a “chilled out guy” who loves watching Youtube videos and talks about coffee, travelling among others.

Zampa and Kohli played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) where they forged a bond over meat-free eating, coffee, and cricket.

Revealing Kohli’s caring attitude towards team-mates, Zampa recalled an incident and said, “It was the first day I arrived (and) he WhatsApped me ‘Zamps, here’s the USD 15 off voucher at a vegan restaurant from Deliveroo. It’s a really good restaurant’.

I didn’t have his number. He made it as if we’ve known each other forever,” Zampa told the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

“He’s absolutely not what you see on the cricket field. He always brings his intensity to training and game; he loves competition, he hates losing as much as anyone. He probably shows it more than anyone,” Zampa said.

“Once he’s off the park, he’s the most chilled guy. He’s watching YouTube clips on the bus, he’ll laugh out loud.”

Zampa said Kohli also talked a lot about coffee, travelling, food, and once asked the Australian “do you want a Beyond Meat burger?”.

“He’s a really cultured guy. He’s good to talk to, good fun. The one thing you take away from spending time with those guys is they’re as much of a human being as you are.

“One night he took me aside and talked to me about his travels through Nepal. He’s always talking to me about his new coffee machine. He’s a pretty normal bloke.”

On his battle with Kohli on the international stage, Zampa said,  “I’ve got him out seven times, but they’re at a good click; the economy is well and truly over six runs per over as well. It’ll be interesting now we’re closer.”

“I love the challenge of bowling to Virat. He’s probably the best player of all time. You see he has 43 hundreds or whatever it is and you go, ‘Wow, he’s a big wicket, he’s superhuman’, but at the end of the day you’re spending so much time around these guys,” Zampa said.

“They go through their own emotions. They’re living the bubble life away from home, they’re all as human as you are and make as many mistakes as I do or anyone else,” he concluded.

(With PTI inputs)

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