A lot of people find it very,
surprising, like I tell people… Actually Gautam and me over the
years have had a lot of laughs. On the… Oops! – …boundary, or before the game.
– The glass is also surprised. The glass has also broken!
Mazel tov! ‘Competitive’ is a good adjective
to use for you, right? – ‘Fiercely competitive’ is a more accurate…
– Very. And the reason was that… …I grew up in an environment where… …I remember that, on Saturdays and Sundays I used
to get an opportunity of playing a game with friends. And I remember that… If you are unbeaten on Sunday, you
will get a turn next week on Saturday. And if you get out on Sunday, then you have
to wait for your opportunity the next Sunday. So the thing was, that was always
very competitive that… …I wanted to score runs, I wanted to be
unbeaten, I wanted another… …opportunity the next week. So that made me competitive
as well. And I knew that… …if I wasn’t competitive, then the next
week I might be a fielder. And you would never want to do that
because you wait an entire week… …just to end up fielding.
So that is not a great thing. And that is what made me
competitive as well. Anyway in Delhi… …everyone would only want to bat.
The rule in our colony was… – …whoever owned the bat, got the batting
– And also wickets. Have you ever done this?
Whenever I got bowled… – I would shout, “I told you to wait! I wasn’t ready!”
– Many times. And if you got out on the first ball,
I would say that it was a trial ball. Every person must have done that. Golden duck wasn’t even
allowed in colony cricket. First ball was always trial ball
no matter what. But if the first ball was a six,
then it wasn’t a trial ball. And nobody wanted to field, it was
considered to be a blue-collar job. – Exactly.
– It’s menial labour. Absolutely. And I feel… and
I say this even today that… …one thing changing in
today’s times is that… …kids nowadays are always on
the iPad or phones or PlayStation. During my time, I remember that
whenever I came home from school… …the first thing I used to do was go
outside, playing Cricket, Football, Kabaddi… …Playing Langdi Taang, playing anything possible.
And the reason was… …it made me mentally tough and
competitive as well because… …when you are outdoor,
you have to compete. So that… …competitive edge these days are missing. During my days, there were no
mobile phones. We only had landlines. And if you wanted to call a girl,
then you had to use a landline. So there were many blank calls… And if her mom or dad picked up the phone
then you would have to hang up. Yes, hang up and wait. Then next day in school you would
tell her, “I’ll give you two rings… …and then hang up… Understand that
it’s me whose calling”. But this was great fun as well.
I think that is something that… …most of today’s kids would miss. Because technology has made life so easy.
If you lose a game on PlayStation… …then you can always replay it. No replays during our time… replays meant
wait a week for your next opportunity. So it was good fun. Did you like anything else when you were
growing up, or was it always just cricket? I played every sport in school. I had
to play, it was compulsory for us to play… …every sport in school. I
was a House Captain… And as a House Captain, we had
inter-house matches where you had to… …play Soccer, Basketball, Swimming,
Athletics, Table Tennis, Badminton… Did you ever come to Mount St. Mary’s School
to play Brother O’Brien tournament? – Yes, a lot.
– My school also has a very good ground. Yes, Mount St. Mary’s had a very good
team. So I played a lot over there and… – …the canteen was also very good.
– Oh the samosas that our canteen had… We used to sit on the steps
which were in front of the ground… …and there was also a
football field there. We had a very big ground. And our canteen
was run by this man named Lalaji… He made these samosas and with
that he gave a chutney… … that you felt like bathing
because it was just so tasty! And also the Chole Bhatures
that he made. Two minutes of silence
for the happy memory. Mount St. Mary’s was a great school but my only
problem with it was that it was a boys school. That was the only disadvantage there. I can’t tell you how much of a
big disadvantage that was. I realised it. I went to Modern school
from the very beginning itself. And after passing out,
I went to Hindu College. – Which also had a great cricket team.
– A great cricket team. During my time we won all the three
years of inter-college tournaments. And I didn’t attend even a single day
of college during those three years. All three years I gave special exams.
My exams took place during June or July. Generally, they’re in April. But I
got special permission for June/July – And that Hindu – Stephens rivalry?
– Massive! I remember, I was playing my first inter-college
finals against Stephens college. Which used to be held
at the university grounds. You won’t believe, there must
have been around… …eight to ten thousand students…
From both sides. Imagine. I had never played an international game.
Ranji Trophy never garnered such a crowd… …that my first inter-college finals did…
The University ground had 7-8 thousand students. – And everyone’s chanting, cheering…
– Chanting with… …boards and banners as well. So after that Eden Gardens (ground)
becomes damn easy, no? Yeah. Imagine I was… …one couldn’t ask for more fun than that. And great rivalry as well.
All my friends… …with whom I used to practice at IG
(Indira Gandhi) stadium, all my close friends… …went to Stephens (college).
I went to Hindu (college). I was the only one in Hindu(college), the remaining
9 or 10 close friends were in Stephens(college). This is very similar to how it is in
IPL and international cricket. Yeah, exactly. You play all year together, but for those
two months they are in the opposite team… – …and the international guys are suddenly…
– And sometimes I genuinely feel… …it has that extra edge that
you want to do well. I always say that IPL has become bigger… …not only because of the quality of players
but also because when you’ve… …played with someone throughout the year and
suddenly you are playing against him. So you have that competitive edge that
you want to be better than the other… …and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s a healthy
rivalry, there should be a healthy rivalry in everything. So I’ve heard stories about you
and Mishraji (Amit Mishra)… …and how the two of you went for a marriage and
managed to give the crowd a miss. – Some friend’s marriage.
– No no, so here’s what happened… The marriage was in NOIDA.
And there was so much traffic that… … It had become quite late. On top of that we were lost.
So we asked someone… …the groom’s name
was Kesar Chaudhary… We asked, “Where’s Kesar Chaudhary’s
wedding taking place?” The man said, “Go straight ahead and
then take a right”. Despite that, we were still lost.
Then we saw a groom’s procession… …and we saw the groom astride a horse. So we asked someone, “Where’s Kesar Chaudhary’s
wedding?” They said, “That’s him”. I rolled down the car’s window, gave my
wedding gift. Kesar tells us, “Make sure you eat and go”.
I reply, “Of course we will”. We took the next U-turn
and headed back home. If they knew about this earlier then they
would have kept someone ready with the meal. – Like a drive-in.
– Please enjoy your meal. Mishraji is quite a colourful character. Yeah. He loves his tea. And also loves telling
others to make tea for him. – Has he ever told you to make tea for him?
– No, I don’t drink, nor can make tea. Are you handy in the kitchen? Not at all. I barely remember
stepping in the kitchen. This is how bad I am.
In my own house… …Natasha (wife) had gone to
her mother’s place. It was quite late
and I was feeling hungry. I thought of getting something
from the kitchen. I saw some fruits kept there so
now I wanted a spoon or a fork. For 30 minutes I didn’t find
any spoon or fork. And I was roaming around clueless. At 1 am I call up Natasha and ask her,
“Where can I find a spoon in our kitchen!” She got beserk. “What kind of man doesn’t know where
the spoons are in his own kitchen!” What about this love for the army that you have?
Since when do you consciously remember this? I remember… I was always very clear in my mind that I
actually wanted to go into the army. After 12th, I wanted to join the NDA. And from there on, I would get in to
the IMA and join the army. Then what happened was, in 12th,
I went on to play Ranji Trophy. And then when I had to take this decision… …of whether to continue playing
cricket or go into the army… Obviously, my mom and everyone said that
You’ve now started playing Ranji Trophy… …you’re just once step away
from playing for India. At that time, there was no ‘India A’ or such things…
Under-19, Ranji Trophy and straightaway, India. They told me, “You’ve now worked hard,
you’ve started doing well in Ranji Trophy”… “…straightaway you’ve started doing well in
Ranji Trophy, you’ve scored runs… …why don’t you continue playing?” So that was the decision which I took…
Ok, let me continue playing cricket… …otherwise the first thing that was there on my mind was
I wanted to do something for the defence forces. Because that love is my first love. – And you’re doing now…
– Hopefully, we can do more. There’s still a lot of work to do. The first
initiative we took was about the CRPF… …the families of 25 CRPF jawans
who got martyred in Sukma. We’ve decided to sponsor the children of
all the 25 families for the rest of their lives… …their education, till whatever
level they want to study. Hopefully, we can do some
more of that as well… …because there are so many other families
who are going through the same things. Hopefully, we can try and
do that, because… …as I said, that is something
which is always close to my heart. And the best thing you
can do is maybe try and… …contribute to their family,
as compared to doing any other thing. Had you decided which field of the
Defence forces you would have been in? Would you have been in the paramilitary? – Would you have been a sniper?
– Artillery! – Artillery?
– Yeah, absolutely. Artillery is something which
excites me a lot as well! That’s something which is on
your cricket style as well… …people say it always feels like
there’s a bomb about to burst. It has burst many times! But honestly, I’ve never taken… …never ever in my life, whatever has happened
on the cricket field, have I taken it personally. And you never take it off the field. Never! I’ve always left it on the cricket field
as well. And that is how it should be. And I expect the opposition to play the same
way as well. There are no hard feelings. When I walk on to the field, if I’m
playing against any opposition… Whether it’s my own teammate I’m playing against or
whether it’s the opposition from any other country… …I expect them to come hard at me and
it is fine, it is absolutely fine. Till the time they leave it on the cricket field,
don’t take it off the field as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I enjoyed the
sledging, I enjoyed the banter… I enjoyed even the heated
arguments I’ve had… …with my own teammates when
we played against each other. That has got the best out of me, and I’m sure that it
must have got the best out of the other people as well. Till the time you don’t take it
off the field, it’s absolutely fine. In Dambulla, Asia Cup against Pakistan… …when we played them after
a very long time, I thought… …that was the game where a
lot of sledging happened. In which Bhajji hit Shoaib for a 6.
Shoaib and Bhajji had a scrap. – And all in Punjabi.
– All in Punjabi, or Hindi. Abuses sound sweeter in
Punjabi, don’t they? Can understand it also, and
it’s fun to give it back too… What can we say to the foreigners? After 1 or 2 lines, it’s over… The
words don’t roll off the tongue… But you enjoyed sledging whom the most?
Who did you watch and go… “If I say something to him,
I can get under his skin.” I thought Shane Warne was one. Shane
Warne obviously, I thought… …never played against him in an International game,
but yes, during the IPL, I did sledge him a lot. – And how did he react to you?
– Gave it back, and there was nothing wrong in it. I still remember telling him that… …the next time he should make sure he
sends the text to the right person. – That’s a well-researched sledge.
– Exactly. The most- The fiercest bowler
you ever faced? Or a few? – Morne Morkel, in South Africa.
– Yeah? Awkward bounce? That’s why I got him. Honestly, that’s why we got him in
KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders)as well. I thought he was the
toughest bowler I faced. – Get him on your side
– Absolutely, 100%. Even when he was playing for Delhi… …every time I would face him I would come
back and say I wish we had Morne Morkel. And the moment he was released,
I said Morne Morkel. You’re the only captain I’ve
seen at the auction. Yeah because I felt that
I don’t want to sulk later on… …saying I wanted that guy
and didn’t get him… I wanted this team and I didn’t get it… They didn’t listen to me…
I don’t want any excuses! When I’m there, it means
that whatever we pick… I’m part of that as well, and whether
we do well or we don’t do well… I take the ownership, if we’ve messed up
or we’ve done well, I’m part of that. So the auction is the first step and the
most important step of building… …or trying to get into to get into a competition
in a good frame of mind as well. If the captain doesn’t go into the competition
thinking good about his own squad… …he would never be able to lead
that squad in a proper way. If you’re given a responsibility,
you should be there. I don’t think I’m doing something extraordinary,
it’s just the responsibility which I’m taking. Genuinely I believe, when I started to
captain this side, KKR… …I thought that the way I would play
is the way KKR would play. If I would be timid, I can’t expect my
team to be absolutely aggressive. And I wanted them to get that
feeling of winning the game. It is not about competing,
it is about winning. For me, there is no such thing as a
competing dressing room. There are only 2 kinds of dressing rooms. You must have heard it said that
“We’re going out there to compete.” Competitions are not about competing. They
are about winning, either you win or you lose. Do you feel that because that’s not the
correct thing to say most times… For most people the
correct thing to say is… “You gotta go out, you’ve gotta give it your best”…
Compete, the results don’t matter.” People say those lines… What
you say is closer to the truth. – Unfortunately, because I’m not diplomatic at all.
– There you go. Do you think you’re misunderstood
because of that sometimes? Not sometimes, all the time. Because ultimately, as I said,
a lot of people say that… “Results are not in our hands.” But I’ve
always believed that only results matter. So I’ve never been diplomatic, never
believed in being diplomatic… I was very clear in my mind,
it’s about winning! Did you know, by the way, at the end of season
3 when the whole rejig was happening… When you were the first player up for
auction, KKR picked you up… – I was traveling. I was in South Africa.
– So you didn’t know? And I remember that I was talking to my friend.
He said, “The auction is tomorrow.” And I told him that I felt that
all the teams… I’m not kidding… …all the teams will bid for me,
except for KKR. We had a stopover in Dubai… I took a flight from Dubai… We had boarded
the flight, were about to take-off… I got a call from my friend saying,
“You’ve been picked by KKR.” – I was shocked! “KKR?!”
– He said, “You’ve been the highest paid cricketer.” KKR! I never thought KKR would
bid, then being the highest bid… …I was absolutely shocked! Must have been a really nice flight!
Must’ve slept really well… A lot! But then, more than the sleep,
there was the responsibility as well… ‘Coz they were clear, they were clear you’re
the captain, that you’re the long-term captain. Whether you like it or not,
I’ve always realized that… whatever people say about there being no pressure
with the money… “I didn’t ask for the money”… There is the pressure of money!
Because the thing is, it is so human. You must have heard people say “I didn’t ask
for money at the auction, they gave it… …There’s no pressure on me”
and all that stuff. But when you get so much money, you do
feel you’ve got to be fair to the position. You’ve got to be fair to that money as well.
And that is how I always thought about it. The first 2 games I was so nervous, not
because of my ability on the cricket field… …I was nervous about whether I’ll
be able to say to myself that… …what they have spent
on me, I was worth it. So for me to prove that, was a bigger pressure
than doing things on the cricket field. Your favourite thing, more than the auction
or more than playing, I know you love it… …is the shoots for all the ads and the dancing
and the singing before the campaign. You love that, right? Your
favourite days at work, no? Not at all, not at all! Don’t even mention that. In the whole Jio ad, there was
just one guy playing the dhol… …and that too because they got after me that
everyone is dancing, you have to also dance. I said, “Boss, I can’t dance.
I can’t dance, I can’t sing.” They said, “Grab the dhol and
beat it as hard as you can” I said, “That I can do.” “And these two
will dance on the beat of your dhol”. Yusuf (Pathan) and Robin (Uthappa) were
dancing and I was trying to play the dhol. Do you think… … ‘coz you’re a no nonsense guy, right,
you don’t take nonsense from anyone… Do you think that your daughters will absolutely
make you melt when they grow up? – You’ll never get your way…
– They already do! Because I think… That’s
what Natasha tells me… “There are only two people in this world who you
would melt in front of and that’s your two daughters.” And that’s absolutely true! -They’ll break all your stubbornness
-Absolutely true. I still can’t say a word to them,
I still melt in front of them. I don’t want to say
that they are my weakness… …because ‘weakness’ is a word which I actually
do not use a lot because I don’t believe… But, somewhere down
the line I thought that… Eventually, if ever there will be a weakness
in me, it would be both of them. Before we go, have one pakora..
Just one, for us… A small one… There it goes… showing
his absolutely great form… A strange feeling in the mouth because he
hasn’t had a pakora for a really long time… Bringing back old memories… Gautam has taken the plate of
pakoras and put it in his bag. Absolutely.