A selector recalls why Virat Kohli was dropped in the early stages of his career
What did Yuvraj tell him during the pep talk?
Published - Nov 2, 2017 1:54 pm | Updated - Nov 2, 2017 1:56 pm
The story of the rise of Virat Kohli from being a less matured youngster to the run-machine and the captain of the Indian team is absolutely phenomenal. The road to the glory though was not at all an easy and a straightforward one for him. The early years of his career as an Indian player was quite a roller-coaster ride. Within six months after winning the Under-19 World Cup for the country, he was an international cricketer. Though he was in the reserves for most of the time as there was a lot of competition for the places in the team.
Kohli was picked for the first time in the major ODI series against England in 2008. He was also told by the team management that they would play him in the last two matches of the series. Unfortunately for the youngster, the terror attack in Mumbai led to the cancellation of the tour and subsequently the last two matches of the series. He was also dropped from the squad after that series which Kohli terms as the depressing period of his already illustrious career.
However, Rajdeep Sardesai, in his book, ‘Democracy XI’ has revealed the reason of Kohli being dropped from the side. According to the quotes in the book, the current skipper of the Men in Blue was becoming the victim of an image trap. “We were being fed stories of how Virat was binge-drinking in the 2009 IPL in South Africa and was more interested in his hairstyles and tattoos than his cricket,” claimed the selector as quoted by Sardesai. Virat Kohli had then squashed the news as the rumours and cleared that he will work hard to come back in the side.
Yuvraj’s Pep talk
The star cricketer Yuvraj Singh was the one who had given him a pep talk during his tough times and motivated him. Even Yuvi was a flamboyant cricketer then and was highly criticised for his Bollywood-like lifestyle whenever he failed with the bat. “I think I once told Virat quite seriously that if you want to be a top-class player, don’t copy me, make Sachin your inspiration. Be disciplined like him, not carefree like me,” Sardesai wrote what Yuvraj had said to him.
Though as it stands now after all those ups and downs, Virat Kohli is now the role model for many youngsters. He has been smashing records already at an age of just 28 which means he still has a lot of cricket left in him. As a captain, he has not lost any ODI series so far and the team has been invincible under him at home. The real test for Kohli will begin from January next year when they are set to be on the road for quite some time.