Djokovic’s invitation in response to Kohli’s ‘kind words’ sets internet on fire | Cricket

The Novak Djokovic and Virat Kohli mutual admiration has fast become the talk of the town. The Serbian world no.1 tennis player and the Indian cricket superstar have been praising each other in the last couple of days. After Djokovic, in the lead-up to the Australian Open 2024, revealed that he and Kohli have been sharing text messages for quite some time, the former Indian captain narrated the entire story about their social media encounters in a video shared by BCCI ahead of the India vs Afghanistan second T20I in Indore.

Novak Djokovic and Virat Kohli

Djokovic took note of that video and thanked Kohli, inviting the cricket maestro for a match together. Whether it will be with the bat and ball or on the tennis was not clarified by the 24-time Grand Slam champion.

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“Thank you for these kind words, Virat Kohli. Looking forward to the day we play together,” Djokovic, who appears to have taken a lot of interest in cricket of late, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

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Notably, Djokovic was seen playing tennis with Australian cricketer Steve Smith before the Australian Open began. His exchanges on the tennis court with the former Australia cricket captain were a sight to behold. The tennis legend also tried his hand at cricket. And after his interactions with Kohli came to light, his association with the ‘gentleman’s game’ is only likely to grow.

How did Kohli and Djokovic friendship start?

It all started when Djokovic said he and Kohli were “text buddies”. “Virat Kohli and I have been texting a bit for a few years. We never got a chance to meet in person, but it was really an honour and a privilege to hear him speak nicely about me.

“I obviously admire all of his career and achievements. I started to play cricket, but I’m not very good at it. But I have a task to perfect my cricket skills before I come to India, and don’t embarrass myself, when I’m there,” Djokovic said on Sony Sports Network.

A day after the comments of Djokovic went viral, Kohli was seen revealing more about their social media exchanges. Kohli said he wanted to be the first one to reach out to the 36-year-old tennis legend but to his surprise, the Serbian had already messaged him, marking the beginning of their friendship. “I got in touch with Novak very organically, I was just looking at his profile once on Instagram and I just happened to press the message button. I thought I’d just say hello, maybe,” Kohli revealed.

“And then I saw a message from him on my DM already. I never opened it myself. So, the first time I saw my own messages myself, I saw, he messaged me himself. And I was like, let me just check if it’s a fake account or something like that.

“But then I checked it again and it was legitimate. And then, yeah, we got talking. We keep exchanging messages every now and then. I congratulated him for all his amazing achievements.”The two athletes quickly found common ground, regularly exchanging congratulatory messages on their respective achievements. They both are also the epitome of supreme fitness allowing them to excel even in their mid-30s.

Djokovic also congratulated Kohli on his 50th ODI century, by posting an Instagram story, a gesture that resonated deeply with the Indian cricketing great.

“When I got my 50th century recently, he put out a story and he sent me a very nice message as well. So, there’s been a mutual admiration, respect.”It’s really nice to connect with global athletes who are, you know, excelling at a high level. And I think, collectively, what I think about it is sending out a message of inspiration to the next generation in a way.”I have a lot of respect for him, his journey, his passion for fitness, something that I dearly follow myself and believe in a lot. So there’s a lot to connect on.

“Hopefully If he comes to India sooner, I happen to be in a country where he is playing. I will definitely catch up with him and just chill out and maybe have a cup of coffee.”

Both Djokovic and Kohli had decent outings in their respective matches. The tennis legend survived a scare against teenager Dino Prizmic to advance to the second round of Australian Open men’s singles with a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 victory. Kohli, on the other hand, made his T20I comeback after a gap of 14 months and played a breezy knock of 29 off 16 balls in India’s easy six-wicket in the second T20I against Afghanistan.

 

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