Cricket

OMG! MS Dhoni didn't want Virat Kohli in his team?

[caption id="attachment_63924" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Kohli Dhoni India skipper Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. File Pic[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said his decision of backing current skipper Virat Kohli in 2008 over Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath was the reason, of end of his tenure as the head of BCCI’s national selection committee. While talking to the media in a promotional event in Mumbai, Vengsarkar stated that he was very much eager to give a chance to Kohli in the senior national team after his brilliant show in the U19 World Cup, but coach Gary Kirsten and former captain Gary Kirsten were reluctant give him a chance then.

“There was an Emerging Players tour to Australia. The selection committee decided to include only U-23 players for this tour. That year, we had won the U-19 World Cup as well and Virat Kohli was captain of that team. We included him in the Emerging Players team. I had gone to Brisbane to see those matches,” Vengsarkar recalled.

“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.

On being asked about why Kohli was not considered that time, Vengsarkar said, “I knew that they were keen on keeping S Badrinath in the team because he was a Chennai Super Kings player. If Kohli would have come in, Badrinath would have been dropped. N Srinivasan was the BCCI treasurer at that time. He was upset that Badrinath was dropped because he was their player.”

“Srinivasan asked me on what basis Badrinath was axed, and I explained that I had been on the Emerging Players tour to Australia where I saw Virat, who is an exceptional player and that is why he is in the team. He argued that Badrinath has scored over 800 runs for Tamil Nadu. I told him that he will get his chance,” TOI quoted him saying.

After that Srinivasan asked Vengsarkar that when would Badrinath get a chance in the squad and in reply, he said, “I can’t tell you when.”

“The very next day, he (Srinivasan) took (Kris) Srikkanth, who later succeeded Vengasarkar as chief selector, to Sharad Pawar, who was the (BCCI) president then and that was the end of my selection tenure,” Vengsarkar concluded.

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