Dilip Vengsarkar has revealed that his decision to back Virat Kohli in 2008 over S Badrinath, led to an untimely end of his tenure as the Chief selector of the BCCI’s national selection committee. Speaking at the sidelines of an event in Mumbai, Vengsarkar explained how he was keen to hand Kohli a debut after spotting his talent at the U-19 World Cup and later in the Emerging Players tour to Australia. However, former coach Gary Kirsten and ex-India skipper MS Dhoni were not convinced.
“Virat opened the innings against West Indies who had a few Test cricketers in their ranks, but we had none and in that match, Virat scored 123 not out. I felt that we should play this guy in the Indian team. I felt this was an ideal situation to include Kohli in the squad. Although the other four selectors agreed with my decision, Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni were reluctant as they had not seen much of Kohli. I told them that I have seen him and we have to include him in the team,” Vengsarkar added.
Vengsarkar had every right to pick Kohli on the side instead. He had a good tour in Australia and was fresh off the U-19 World Cup victory as well. It was a harsh and wrong decision by Srinivasan to sack Vengsarkar.
Kohli is currently one of the best batsmen in the world, and it all began back in 2008 when he was given a chance as a 19-year-old.