I was the one to bring in Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma into the Delhi side: Atul Wassan
Both players performed very well during the England-India Test series.
Updated - Sep 21, 2018 6:41 pm
Former India cricketer Atul Wassan has revealed that he was instrumental in bringing Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma into the Delhi side. Wassan said that he had to battle with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) administrators and selectors to ensure that both Virat and Ishant get a chance to feature at the national level.
Virat made his first-class debut in 2006 against Tamil Nadu. However, Kohli came to the limelight for his innings of 90 against Karnataka, the day after his father passed away. Within 2 years, he made his international debut and soon became a regular feature in the Indian Cricket Team. He is currently the number 1 ranked Test batsman.
Virat might have never played for Delhi
However, according to Atul Wassan, Virat might not have played for Delhi if selectors had continued to ignore his performances at school and club cricket. During an interview with Khaleej Times, Wassan said, “You know, Virat came from my academy. He first came to us when he was 11.
I have seen him develop in his junior cricket days. I was the one who picked him and Ishant (Sharma) to play for Delhi. The Delhi management wasn’t keen to pick them because they were playing for India U19. But I fought for them and both made their Ranji debut in the same match. And the rest is history.”
“His (Virat’s) coach Raj Kumar Sharma is my very good friend. In fact, we started the academy together. So we spoke to Virat about his issues and he listened to us, you know.” Wassan further revealed, “After that, his focus has been amazing. Sometimes people think he is too aggressive on the field. But actually, he is just genuinely confident about his ability to manage everything. He wants to win every time he steps on the field.”
Virat Kohli recently bagged India’s Man of the Series award during India’s Test series against England where he amassed 593 runs. In the same series, India’s veteran paceman Ishant Sharma bagged a total of 18 wickets. Atul Wassan particularly congratulated Ishant for his bowling performance in England.
“I just sent him a message that it’s the best I have seen him bowl. Last year I was the chairman of selectors for Delhi and he was available for us. These days he is playing only Test matches. He is not getting picked for IPL which is a big blow, But Ishant took it in his stride and you can see that in the way he is bowling now. You know you can’t play 80-85 Test matches for India if you are not good!” he said.