Virat Kohli has developed into a legend of the game and one of the best all-formats batters in the world. At the age of 19, he led India to a stunning Under-19 World Cup victory. He has broken several batting records and is well on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats. While Kohli’s statistics speak eloquently about his accomplishments as a batsman and captain, it is vital to remember that all of this may not have been possible without the direction and assistance of two key figures in Indian cricket: MS Dhoni and Dilip Vengsarkar.

Vengsarkar, the then-chairman of selection, saw Kohli making waves in the local and India A circuit before Dhoni gave him his India debut. Even though Kohli had only led the Under-19 side to victory in the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur a few months earlier, legends about him had already begun to circulate. Virat Kohli scored the game-winning century in an India A vs New Zealand A encounter in 2008, according to Vengsarkar, who had been following Kohli from his early years.

“It is the selectors’ vision. He didn’t score a perfect 100, but what I liked about him was that he agreed to start the innings when I requested him to. India had several international fast bowlers and a strong assault as they chased around 270 runs in New Zealand. Additionally, we assembled a strong squad of young players. They were all under the age of 23, and we were looking to identify players who would eventually represent India “On the former Indian cricketer WV Raman’s YouTube channel, Vengsarkar said.

The fact that Virat could now be attempted at the international level was due to much more than simply Kohli’s century in his innings, according to Vengsarkar. Kohli made his India debut in August, starting the team’s ODI series against Sri Lanka. With a magnificent half-century in only his fourth game, Kohli concluded the series with 159 runs from five games at an average of 31.80. The brilliance of Kohli was introduced to Indian cricket by Vengsarkar, and it was just the start of what would turn out to be an extraordinary international career.

“Virat performed well. He made sure India won the game after scoring 100 points. He had a 123-not-out score. That’s when I realized he had grown up. I had followed him since he was a member of the Under-16 team. Following Under-19 is India. So I was aware that this man was prepared and needed to be chosen. To play a One-Day series, we were going to travel to Sri Lanka. It was the perfect time to choose and train this young man “said the former captain of India.