Before joining the senior Indian team, Virat Kohli had only won one ICC trophy, the under-19 World Cup in 2008. Kohli has not taken much time to join the senior team. At, 19, he made his debut for Team India in an ODI versus Sri Lanka in the year 2008. He was first selected as a substitute batsman, but he quickly established himself as a middle-order hitter in the ODI lineup. Look at what Yuvraj Singh says about Virat Kohli.
Exclusive: I’ve seen Virat grow up as a cricket player in front of me. He became a legend by the age of 30, says Yuvraj Singh about Virat Kohli
Kohli was named to India’s World Cup team in 2011 after a string of great performances. When he was selected in MS Dhoni’s team for the big event, he was merely 22 years old.
Kohli learned the difficulties of being a professional cricketer by playing and being able to share the dressing room with legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan.
He was learned how to bat under stress, score in key situations, and increase his strike rate. His on-field conversations with Dhoni, whether they were preparing the field or selecting a bowler, helped him grow as a captain.
‘Virat showed some great promise when he came on board’: Yuvraj
In 2012, he was named the ODI team’s vice-captain. Virat’s development has been a “big” one, according to Indian cricket great Yuvraj Singh, the 2011 World Cup ‘Player of the Tournament’.
Yuvraj remarked when questioned about Virat’s development from the 2011 World Cup campaign: “Huge difference (since 2011). Virat showed some great promise when he came on board. The moment he got the opportunities, he grabbed them. That’s how he took a spot in the World Cup (squad) because he was very young at that time. And it was between him and Rohit. At that time, Virat was scoring runs. That’s the reason, Virat got the spot. And compared to now, there is a complete change in him,” Yuvraj told in an exclusive interview.
Virat improved his running skills over time. While some have questioned his captaincy abilities, his batsmanship has never been questioned. Kohli, who has 12169 ODI runs to his record, is the 2nd Indian after Sachin Tendulkar (18426 runs) on the all-time ODI runs list and the 6th overall.
‘At almost 30, Kohli achieved a lot of things’: Yuvraj
Virat Kohli has achieved the label of ‘chase master’ for his well calculated and accomplished run chases. He is also the second-highest ODI century scorer of all time. He does have 43 ODI hundreds under his belt, second only Sachin Tendulkar, who has a record 49 ODI hundreds.
“I have seen him grow and train in front of me. He was probably the hardest worker, very disciplined with his diet, very disciplined with his training. When he was scoring runs, you could see that he is somebody who wants to be the best player in the world. He had that kind of attitude. He has got that swag,” Yuvraj further said.
“He was scoring a lot of runs and then he became captain. Sometimes you get bogged down, but when he became captain, his consistency became even better. At almost 30, he had achieved a lot of things,” Former India all-rounder who featured 40 Tests, 304 One-Day Internationals, and 58 Twenty-20 Internationals for the country, hitting over 11,000 runs and collecting 148 wickets, said in the Interview.
“People become legends when they retire. At 30, he (Virat) already became a legend. It was really great to watch him grow as a cricketer. Hope he finishes on a high. Because he has got a lot of time,” Yuvraj signed off.