File photo of Virat Kohli© TAUT
Virat Kohli is currently a giant in Indian cricket. Not only does he have the second highest tally in international cricket (71), but is also regarded as one of the greatest ever in Indian cricket. He showed promise from an early age. He led India to the 2008 U-19 World Cup triumph and in the same year he made his ODI debut. Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar was the chairman of selectors at the time and explained why he chose a young Kohli for the senior India Team.
Vengsarkar, a prolific batter in his playing days, talked about an India A game against New Zealand A in 2008.
“It’s the view of selectors. It’s not that he scored a 100, but what I admired about him was that when I asked him to open the innings, he said, ‘Okay, I’ll open the innings”. India was chasing some 270 runs in New Zealand and they had some international fast bowlers, good offense. And we had picked a good team for emerging players. They were all Under-23 and we wanted to pick from those players… who would later play for India,” Vengsarkar told former Indian cricketer WV Raman on the latter’s YouTube channel.
“Virat played so brilliantly. After he scored a 100 he made sure India won the match. He scored 123 not out. Then I realized he had grown up. And I had been watching him since his under- 16 days Then Under-19 and then India So I knew this guy was ready and he had to be elected We were about to go to Sri Lanka to play One-Day series It was the ideal opportunity to choose this boy and care for him.”
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