Mumbai, June 14 : Former India chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar jogged down memory lane and recalled how current skipper Virat Kohli caught his eye during the Emerging Cup in Australia.
“When there was an emerging players” tournament in Australia, I was the chairman of the selection committee (for the Indian team),” Vengsarkar said during a Facebook live session with Sportskeeda.
“We had decided at that point of time that we must pick players who were fringe players or who would play for India very soon, especially the U-23 boys. So we had picked Virat Kohli in the team,” Vengsarkar added.
Vengsarkar, who is fondly known in the cricket fraternity as Colonel, also lifted the lid how Kohli put on a stunning performance with the bat that led to him getting picked for the Indian national team.
Kohli opened the innings for India ”A” against New Zealand ”A” and smashed an unbeaten century. Kohli”s finishing role helped make up Vengsarkar”s mind that he should be fast-tracked into the senior team.
“In the first match against New Zealand, they had scored 240-250 and Virat Kohli was asked to open the innings and he scored 123* (120*),” Vengsarkar said.
“What I appreciated was that even after his hundred, he went on to win the game for his team and he remained not out. That really impressed me and there I thought that here is a boy that we must push into the Indian team because he was mentally mature and of course we picked him and the rest is history,” Vengsarkar said.
Kohli has since gone on to become one of the finest batsmen ever to play the game. He has amassed 11,867 runs in ODIs, 7,240 runs in the longest format and 2,794 runs in the shortest format.