Harbhajan Singh recalls a moment from IPL 2008 when he realised the potential in Virat Kohli
Kohli's name was already doing the rounds in Indian cricket when the IPL got underway in 2008.
Updated - Sep 14, 2020 1:20 pm
Virat Kohli’s rise in international cricket is certainly an inspirational story for the budding cricketers. His name was already doing the rounds in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century. India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh got to know about Kohli from Lalchand Rajput and experienced the latter’s talent first hand in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Harbhajan was named the stand-in captain by the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Sachin Tendulkar‘s absence while Virat Kohli was playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Apart from the legendary players from India, MI also had Sanath Jayasuriya in their line-up, the man whose presence would’ve intimidated the best in the business.
However, Kohli was unperturbed with it. The youngster then, took on the left-arm spinner Jayasuriya during the game between MI and RCB. His approach surprised Harbhajan Singh, the skipper, and the way Kohli batted, the former realised that he will definitely be a star player in the future in world cricket.
“I had heard Virat Kohli’s name before the IPL auction from Lalchand Rajput. In an IPL game, I was the captain of the Mumbai Indians, Sachin paaji was sitting out. Virat Kohli hit Jayasuriya for a six by stepping out of his crease. He was not afraid of the fact that a man of Jayasuriya’s stature was bowling to him. That showed me that he is one for the future,” Harbhajan said while speaking to Star Sports.
Harbhajan Singh has pulled out of IPL 2020
As far as Harbhajan Singh is concerned, he has pulled out of the IPL this season and will not be turning up for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He informed the fans about his decision on his Twitter handle and hoped that his privacy will be respected.
CSK will definitely miss his experience on slow and low pitches of the UAE, especially, as the tournament progresses. It will also be interesting to see if the off-spinner turns up as an analyst on Star Sports during the cash-rich league.