Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are the biggest names of Indian cricket at the moment. They have taken the national team to the next level after the departure of the senior players like Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and others. Moreover, the duo complements each other well during many India games. Also, they give wholehearted respect to each other. But, there was a time when MS Dhoni didn’t want Kohli to be part of Team India. And, Dilip Vengsarkar, the former Indian selector has thrown light over the same.
Virat Kohli is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen across the globe in cricket. He took world cricket with a storm on the back of his brilliant batting. He has transformed himself from chubby guy to a fitness freak. Moreover, he has emerged as the run-machine for Team India in the last seven or eight years. Kohli is no less than a gem, who was just born to play and rule cricket.
In an interview, Dilip Vengsarkar, the former chief selector said that there was a time when MS Dhoni did not want Kohli to play for Team India. The 63-year-old said that he and the other members of the selection panel agreed to pick players from Under-23 side and at that time they had won the U-19 World Cup. So, he picked Virat Kohli, who performed extremely well in that tournament. Moreover, he was the skipper of the team.
“I and my colleagues decided that we will take the U-23 boys and at that time we had won the U-19 World Cup, Virat Kohli was the U-19 captain and I selected him in the team. He (Kohli) was technically sound and I thought he should be played. We were going to Sri Lanka and I felt that this is the ideal situation that he should be in the team. My four colleagues said ‘As you say Dilip Bhai’.
However, Gary and Dhoni were saying ‘No, we haven’t seen him and we will continue with the same team’. I told them ‘You haven’t seen him but I have seen and we have to take this boy,” Dilip Vengsarkar said as quoted by News Nation.
At that time, Team India was scheduled to travel Sri Lanka for cricketing series. According to Vengsarkar, it was the perfect time to bring Kohli into the national team. But, MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten said no to his decision as they had not seen Kohli batting at that time.
Meanwhile, Dhoni and Srinivasan backed the inclusion of Subramanian Badrinath, who did well in domestic cricket. Dilip Vengsarkar also recited the fact that the former BCCI chairman was not happy with him at that time, Srinivasan was not happy with Kohli’s inclusion and said Badrinath deserved the chance,” added Vengsarkar.