Few people could have envisaged the stunning rise of Virat Kohli over the last few years. He started off as a young, brash Delhi boy and eventually morphed into the skipper of the Indian team. While we have seen his aggressive nature on the field, how was he in the dressing room? In a recent interview, Virender Sehwag talks about Kohli’s initial years in the dressing room.
“He was a shy and quite youngster in front of us senior players but when he was in the U-19 team he used to be very very naughty. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how naughty he was him from his U-19 coach Ajit Chaudhary.”
“Once Chaudhary told me that Kohli fell ill or was play acting so his coach told him that he wouldn’t play in the next match. And suddenly Kohli’s fever went away and he became absolutely fine after hearing that, started batting normally the way he does in the nets also. He played the next match and smashed a double hundred,” Sehwag told Star Sports in an interview.
“The first time I heard about Virat Kohli was in Najafgarh where there was another player around 16-17 years of age who used to bowl to me, his name was Pradeep Sangwan. I heard Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma’s name from the first time from him, Kohli especially.
“He told me that if you want to watch a player you should watch Virat Kohli. He told me how brilliant Kohli was as a batsman. Initially I thought Sangwan was just bragging about his friend.
“But when I saw Virat Kohli play for the first time – he came out to bat with me in a T20 match and played a backfoot punch shot piercing the gap through long on and long off for a four, that was when I felt this boy has some serious talent. After that he didn’t look back and within one year he broke into the Indian team,” Sehwag added.