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Virat Kohli inspiring and very well brought up: Mr Nags

India Today logo India Today 27-05-2016

First things first. For those of you who thought Virat Kohli and Mr. Nags were always at war, you could not be further away from the truth. Yes, their jousts and (not very friendly) banters are wildly popular on social media. Off the camera, the two get along pretty well and share mutual respect and admiration for each other.

Before we proceed any further, there's need for a quick introduction. Kohli of course does not need one. Neither does Mr. Nags if you are a fan of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. For two seasons now, the moustached prankster has 'nagged' the lives out of RCB's superstars. His recent 'exploits' against Kohli in an insanely funny interview drew rave reviews and was widely covered on news portals.

Mr. Nags has diligently hosted the RCB Insider Show since 2015 and his incessant probing of Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, has won him several fans across the country. Watching these videos sometimes make you wonder if these legends always take Nags' pranks in the right spirit. Mr. Nags, who really is Danish Sait, a well-known comedian from Bangalore, says the batting heavyweights are friendly and understand that he is there to do a job.

But that said, there are also some unsaid rules that Danish aka Mr. Nags follows diligently. I do not discuss cricket with them. It's not my place. I know the importance of leaving them alone in their own space. They are too tired after a game and it's not right to bother them then."

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Besides, Danish does not act like a smitten fan boy next to some of the world's most destructive batsmen. In the two years I have spent with the team, I have never taken a picture with the players without my make-up on. And the players know that am there to do a job. They are there to play cricket and I am there to provide entertainment through social media."

Most importantly Danish never takes a camera to the players soon after a defeat and understands that a business relationship with the cricketers does not necessarily need to translate into friendship.

Danish has his priorities sorted and knows where to draw a line. Respecting the players' private space despite a demanding job has helped him connect swiftly with the likes of Watson and Kohli.

"I was having a chat with Kohli about Corner House the other day and he said we should go get an ice cream together sometime," says Danish.

Staying on Kohli, Mr. Nags points out that the RCB skipper is as much a gem on the field as he is off it. "He is a brilliant human being. We are both the same age. He is very inspiring. We were at Sonar Bangla (a Kolkata hotel). The team had a little dinner together. I told Virat - 'You are very inspiring.' And he knew that I didn't just say it for the heck of it. He could see that I meant it."

Contrary to Kohli's brash image on the field, Danish says India's 27-year-old Test captain is extremely well brought up and a thoroughbred gentleman.

RCB were in Mohali for a game this year. Kohli's elder brother Vikas did not have an accreditation. Carrying a normal ticket, he wanted to have a word with Virat as soon as the team arrived at the hotel but the security guards, who did not realise who Vikas was, kept him away. Neither Vikas nor Virat created a hue and cry over the incident. "In fact, when I went after Vikas bhaiya, he said the security people were only doing their job. These small things say a lot about a person and a family. Virat and Vikas have been brought up extremely well by their parents. They are two fine young men."

It's easy to catch the respect and awe in Danish's voice when he talks about Kohli. But all that would count for little when the two clash on camera again for one of their duels.

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