Former India selector Dilip Vengsarkar says he backed Virat Kohli even when MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten had not heard of him

Vengsarkar was speaking after launching the book 'Howzzat' penned by celebrated astrologer Greenstone Lobo in suburban Bandra.

Press Trust of India, Apr 21, 2019 20:47:00 IST

Mumbai: Former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar Sunday claimed he had fast-tracked Virat Kohli's entry into the Indian team when captain MS Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten "had not heard" of him.

Vengsarkar was speaking after launching the book 'Howzzat' penned by celebrated astrologer Greenstone Lobo in suburban Bandra.

File photo of Dilip Vengsarkar. Reuters

File photo of Dilip Vengsarkar. Reuters

"...Then I picked Virat Kohli in the (national) team straight away. To be honest with you, we used to play (the) Emerging Players tournament in Australia, and that time I was in charge of the selection committee.

"And I had gone to Australia to see the match and I had picked him (Virat) because they had won the Under 19 World Cup,'" recalled the former India captain.

The 116 Test veteran also said that Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath had to make way for Virat.

"And in the first game itself he (Virat) scored a hundred (in that tournament). And I was impressed (and thought) he is the boy (and has) exceptional talent. I came back and others had not heard of him.

"MS Dhoni was the captain, Gary Kirsten was the coach of the India team and they had not heard of him, so they said we should not pick him now at the moment and let him play few games and I was insisting that you must pick this guy, there is no question and they had to drop (S) Badrinath at that time," said Vengsarkar, who is fondly known as 'Colonel'.

Kohli, who made his India debut against Sri Lanka on August 18, 2008, has scaled heights in his ever rising career and will lead India in the upcoming World Cup, which begins 30 May in England.

In the same vein, the former captain, who has scored three hundreds at Lords claimed that it was on his insistence that Sachin Tendulkar was picked in the then Bombay side.

"Sachin Tendulkar was picked when I was the captain of the Bombay (now Mumbai) team, everybody was against him (saying) he was too small (young) at that time but I insisted that he (Tendulkar) should be picked," he remembered.

Vengsarkar also recalled anecdotes of his playing days, while Lobo predicted that India would beat arch rivals Pakistan in the marqee clash in the World Cup.

Updated Date: Apr 21, 2019 20:47:00 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254