Domain Tests v India

The legacy I want to leave: Kohli

India's skipper and hero to millions details how he would like to impact the game and beyond, particularly within his own country

Sam Ferris

10 December 2018, 07:40 AM AEST

When Virat Kohli's playing days are over, it won't be the runs, records or riches he's accumulated that will define his legacy.

Instead, it will be how he has inspired a cricket-obsessed country to push boundaries, conquer fears and keep the national team at the apex of world cricket.

At least, that's the desire of the man himself.

"Honestly, numbers and all these things would be the last thing I would think of when I finish playing," Kohli told former Australia gloveman Adam Gilchrist in a wide-ranging interview on Fox Cricket. 

"For me, the most important thing is if I've been able to inspire the next lot to push themselves towards excellence and break their own barriers of any kind of limitations they have in their minds or bodies. 

"Anything like that, because that's what I believe in – to be able to play my cricket at the level I want until the time the time I (stop playing) is my goal. 

"If I can leave that legacy behind where people are striving for excellence every day in what they eat, how they train, how much they sleep, what their rest patterns are like, how they practice, how they think about the game and keep Indian cricket at that level. 

"If I can contribute to that even five per cent I'll be very happy at the end of my career."

Kohli, at 30, is already widely regarded as the best white-ball batter in history.

He's also the current world No.1 Test batter and leads the premier Test cricket team on the planet.

Off the field he ranks among TIME magazine's Top 100 most influential people of 2018 and Forbes listed him as the 83rd richest athlete in the world, with earnings of US $24 million. 

Almost one year ago, Kohli married Bollywood actress and producer Anushka Sharma, whom he says has made him a better person. 

That kind of profile, both in and away from cricket, has seen Kohli gather an enormous following on social media, with more than 90 million accounts following his activities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ponting has 'no doubt' over Starc

But Kohli does not let himself get caught up with the trappings of fame and the public fascination of his life.  

He sees it as an opportunity to inspire and entertain, to enrich his fans' lives and for that he says he is grateful.

"My focus is on doing the normal things, just staying in the present, focusing on what I need to do in my sport and my life and not get too attached to anything else because it can get dangerous," he said.

"I understand this is going to end one day and I don't want to be addicted to something that I will not have one day. 

"It's great that so many people like or love what I do and If I can provide entertainment and happiness for them I'm grateful for that. 

"But the numbers don't matter. If I'm able to impact one life, that's more than enough for me."

Domain Test Series v India

Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval

Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium

Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG

Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain

India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar