He was named on the TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2018 earlier this year and just how much influence Virat Kohli wields became apparent on Thursday when he tagged India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet about sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s ‘#FitnessChallenge’ and got the PM to accept!
Kohli’s tweet, which is accompanied by a video of him doing the Spiderman plank (or the spider plank), also tagged his wife Anushka Sharma and India cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While Dhoni and Bollywood actress Sharma were yet to respond, Modi tweeted: “Challenge accepted, Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon. @imVkohli #HumFitTohIndiaFit”
I have accepted the #FitnessChallenge by @ra_THORe sir. Now I would like to challenge my wife @AnushkaSharma , our PM @narendramodi ji and @msdhoni Bhai for the same. 😀 #HumFitTohIndiaFit #ComeOutAndPlay pic.twitter.com/e9BAToE6bg
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 23, 2018
Rathore’s ‘#FitnessChallenge’ or '#HumFitTohIndiaFit' campaign has been a massive hit on Twitter with Rathore himself doing push-ups in one of his tweets on Tuesday before challenging Hrithik Roshan, Saina Nehwal and Kohli in the tweet. The campaign has widely been praised by many on social media.
Tennis ace Sania Mirza tweeted: "When was the last time we saw a Minister do this??? Coolest 😎 leading by example .. congratulations on this #FitnessChallenge Sir.. here’s to a brighter and healthier India .."
Rathore’s challenge has also been accepted by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Athletes like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and cricketer Gautam Gambhir have also taken up the #FitnessChallenge over the last few days.
Thank u so much @Ra_THORe sir for challenging me 😁..#HumFitTohIndiaFit 🇮🇳🏆 Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media. Here's my video 😀and I challenge @RanaDaggubati @Pvsindhu1 and @GautamGambhir 👍👍 pic.twitter.com/XEaJ9tPj2W — Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) May 22, 2018
Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media . Here's my video and I challenge @deepikapadukone @AkhilAkkineni8 @joshnachinappa pic.twitter.com/AscsZxqklp
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) May 23, 2018
@NSaina thanks for connecting me and kudos to @Ra_THORe for #HumFitTohIndiaFit truly amazing. Now i will challenge @YUVSTRONG12 @MishiAmit to flex their muscles and inspire us. pic.twitter.com/ufC8W4KiP6 — Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 22, 2018
Rathore had stated on Twitter that he was inspired to start the fitness challenge after seeing PM Modi, who he praised for "being able to juggle a hectic schedule effortlessly". The prime minister has been a proponent of yoga for many years with the NaMo app featuring many videos of PM Modi doing a number of asanas.
During RCB's first match of the new IPL campaign against SRH on Monday, de Villiers connected his bat with the ball with ease and gave his team a much needed boost.
Virat Kohli on Thursday said his teammates have become "acceptive" of living in the IPL bio-bubble and there is no "desperation" for a change of environment as they approach the tournament proper from 19 September.
During the KXIP-RCB match, Gavaskar made a comment on Kohli facing Anushka's bowling during the lockdown, and how it did not help much as far as maintaining his rhythm was concerned.