Virat Kohli has developed into a legend of the game. And is one of the best all-format batters in the world. At the age of 19, he led India to a stunning Under-19 World Cup victory.
He has broken numerous batting records. And is well on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats.
While Kohli’s statistics speak eloquently about his accomplishments as a batsman and captain, it is vital to remember that all of this may not have been possible without the direction and assistance of two key figures in Indian cricket: MS Dhoni and Dilip Vengsarkar.
Vengsarkar, the then-chairman of selection. When he saw Kohli making waves in the domestic and India A circuit before Dhoni gave him his India debut.
Even though Kohli had just led the Under-19 side to victory in the World Cup. In Kuala Lumpur a few months earlier, legends about him had already begun to circulate.
Virat Kohli scored the game-winning century in an India A. Hence versus New Zealand A encounter in 2008. According to Vengsarkar, who have been following Kohli since his early years.
Ex-BCCI Vengsarkar Statement
“It is the vision of selectors. It’s not that he score 100, what I admired about him that when I asked him to open the innings, he said I will do it. India were chasing some 270 runs in New Zealand and they had some international fast bowler, a good attack. And we had picked a good emerging players’ team. They were all Under-23 and we wanted to pick out of those players… that who is going to play for India later.”
“Virat played so brilliantly. After scoring a 100, he made sure that India won the match. He scored 123 not out. That is when I realised that he had matured. And I had been watching him since his Under-16 days. Then Under-19 and then India. So I knew that this guy was ready and he needs to be picked. We were about to go to Sri Lanka to play One-Day series. It was the ideal opportunity to pick this youngster and groom him.”
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