Dilip Vengsarkar recalled how Virat Kohli, in one of the games during the U16 days opened for his side and scored a century
Former skipper Dilip Vengsarkar is often credited for giving Indian cricket the genius of Virat Kohli. The former India captain was the chairman of selectors of the BCCI (Board of Control For Cricket In India) in 2008 when Kohli received his maiden call-up. Kohli made his debut for India, months after he had led the Under-19 team to a World Cup win in Malaysia. Kohli’s ability to open or walk in to bat at 1 or 2 down, and smash the bowlers all across the field is one of the many qualities fans admire. However, the Indian cricketer wasn’t always lucky when it came to opening the innings, barring a few occasions.
For instance, Kohli came out to open on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, he was out for 12 runs off 22 balls. Needless to say, Kohli’s opening stint was doomed right from the start. Following which, he was rarely asked to open.
But Kohli wasn’t always unlucky at opening the innings. He had tried that position while playing for India A and the results were pretty impressive. Former India selector and player Dilip Vengsarkar in a candid chat with WV Raman on Sportstar, recalled how Kohli opened up for his side in the U-16 and smashed a century. Vengsarkar highlighted that Kohli’s preparedness to play at any position in the batting order is something he admired.
Vengsarkar said, “What I admired about him is that when he was asked to open the innings, he said ‘Okay, I will open the innings’. We were chasing around 270 runs against New Zealand which had a good attack.”
The former Indian selector mentioned that Kohli played “brilliantly” and after scoring a hundred, he made sure that India won the match. “He was 123 not out in that innings. I was seeing him from the U-16 days. Then he played U-19 and then India senior,” Vengsarkar added.
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