Yes, we did try to poach Kohli, reveals MI’s Harbhajan Singh

Yes, we did try to poach Kohli, reveals MI’s Harbhajan Singh

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (L), Ravichandran Ashwin (R) and Harbhajan Singh (C). (Photo credit MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Out of favour India ace spinner Harbhajan Singh has revealed that Mumbai Indian’s did try to bring Virat Kohli on board but they couldn’t detach him from the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Coincidentally, Virat and Turbanator are the only players to have played all the editions of IPL for one team.

Speaking to Vijay Lokapally, the renowned cricket journalist, in India’s maiden sports lit fest that is taking place in Pune, also featuring Virat, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, and India’s hero in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar amongst others, Harbhajan was all praise for the India captain who he thought is a champion player, but Sachin Tendulkar will remain the No.1 for him.

“Virat Kohli is like a little brother to me and we tried to get him to Mumbai Indians. He (Kohli) will always be a champion player but Sachin Tendulkar will always be the No. 1. Kohli is not only fit himself but also motivates others to be fit. It’s his passion that took him to the next level,” added Harbhajan.

One can only imagine what would have happened with MI had they been successful in getting Kohli in their roaster, which once boasted of legends like Sachin, Ricky Ponting and Sanath Jayasuriya. Mumbai later recruited Rohit Sharma in 2011, who would have made a deadly combo for the opposition. The MI support staff is also full of superstars with Ponting, Jonty Rhodes, Mahela Jayawardene, Robin Singh, Shane Bond and previously Anil Kumble.

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Virat was bought by RCB in 2008 for $30,000 and was the only player to be retained by RCB in 2011, when they had the option to retain four players. Harbhajan thought that the Kohli-led India team would find the Test series against Australia a cakewalk, having been a star performer for India whenever the Aussies toured India.

Harbhajan also predicted that Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni would play the 2019 World Cup. He added that India’s biggest challenge would be defending the Champions Trophy, to be held later this year.

Written by Rameez Mannil