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I picked Kohli when Dhoni and Kirsten hadn’t even heard of him, says Vengsarkar

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Former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said on Sunday said that he had paved Virat Kohli’s way into the Indian team at a time when the then captain MS Dhoni and head coach Gary Kirsten had not even heard of him.

Vengsarkar was speaking at a launch of a book on Sunday.
…Then I picked Virat Kohli in the (national) team straight away. To be honest with you, we used to play (the) Emerging Players tournament in Australia, and that time I was in charge of the selection committee.

“And I had gone to Australia to see the match and I had picked him (Virat) because they had won the Under 19 World Cup,” the former Indian captain said.

He also said that Subramanium Badrinath had to make way for Kohli.

And in the first game itself he (Virat) scored a hundred (in that tournament). And I was impressed (and thought) he is the boy (and has) exceptional talent. I came back and others had not heard of him.

“M S Dhoni was the captain, Gary Kirsten was the coach of the India team and they had not heard of him, so they said we should not pick him now at the moment and let him play few games and I was insisting that you must pick this guy, there is no question and they had to drop (S) Badrinath at that time,” he added.

Ever since making his debut for the Indian team on August 18, 2008, the Delhi batsman has attained great heights. He is , in fact going to lead India in the World Cup in England and Wales, which begins on May 30.

Vengsarkar also spoke of Sachin Tendulkar in the same vein, saying that it was him who insisted Sachin’s inclusion in the Bombay team.

“Sachin Tendulkar was picked when I was the captain of the Bombay (now Mumbai) team, everybody was against him (saying) he was too small (young) at that time but I insisted that he (Tendulkar) should be picked,” he recalled.

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