Former India selector reveals MS Dhoni once didn’t approve of Virat Kohli’s selection

by Ajit Singh Khanna | Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 | 0
Virat Kohli speaks on MS Dhoni's future - Sports News

Former India selector Dilip Vengsarkar has claimed Mahendra Singh Dhoni once didn’t approve of Virat Kohli’s selection.

In a recent media interaction, Vengsarkar, who was at the helm of selection in 2008, revealed his proposal to select Kohli for the Sri Lanka tour was rejected by not just Dhoni, but the then coach Gary Kirsten as well.

“There was an Emerging Players tournament in Australia (for) youngsters – four A-teams were there – India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand,” the 63-year-old told PTI.

“Me 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’”.

Kohli would go on to make his debut. Having been asked to open in all of the five ODIs against hosts Sri Lanka, the youngster scored 12, 37, 25, 54, 31 – a fairly decent effort in a series that saw the bowlers dominate.

India would go on to win the series 3-2 to record their maiden triumph in Sri Lanka.

By hindsight, Vengsarkar made the best decision he could for Team India, given the fact Kohli – who now has almost 22,000 runs in international cricket – has gone on to become one of the best and most feared batsmen in the world currently.

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