‘Proper big dog’ coming, Ali warns Surrey
New Delhi: Some assumptions in the Surrey dressing room are sure to come crashing down when a “proper big dog” joins the side, said England all-rounder Moeen Ali while reflecting on Virat Kohli’s much talked-about county stint next month. While there aren’t too many big local names in the Surrey squad, there are a few international stars in the line-up such as South Africa’s Morne Morkel, Tom Curran, Dean Elgar and Australia’s Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch.
Ali and his compatriot Chris Woakes are playing under Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore. “I know a few of the Surrey guys and they are not what people make them out to be most of the time. But if anyone in that dressing room does think he’s a big dog, he will need to sit down for a little while because there is a proper big dog coming,” Moeen was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Ali and Woakes also rejected the perception that the Indian captain is intimidating and aggressive. “You see him on the field and people might think he’s arrogant, but it is the complete opposite. He’s so humble, it’s almost weird how nice he is. He’s the biggest name in India but will ring me to check I’m OK or ask if I fancy lunch,” said Ali.
“Sometimes a player will invite the squad to his house for a meal and it would be easy for him (Kohli) to say no. But he would always go. I can say with certainty that anyone who has a bad word doesn’t know the guy.”
Endorsing Ai’s view, Woakes added: “You have your perceptions of someone like Virat, who is quite passionate, emotional, in your face and plays it hard. But off the field he’s very calm and you can chat about anything. “He’s very down to earth and for someone who has such huge pressures and public focus in India, to see him go about his business in this way quite refreshing.”