Virat Kohli has impinged himself as one of the leading cricketers of the modern era and he has done that through sheer hard work, determination, and the drive to be the best in the world.
Kohli burst on the scene in early 2008 when he led the Indian colts to an U-19 World Cup triumph in Kuala Lumpur, following which he was racked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise ahead of the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League.
Former Indian cricketers in Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan recalled their first memories of watching the current Indian captain in the 2008 IPL.
Singh recalled Virat Kohli hitting Sanath Jayasuriya for a monstrous six by stepping out his crease as his first memory of Kohli in the IPL. The ‘turbanator’, who was leading the Mumbai Indians at the time, added that seeing Virat hit a seasoned campaigner like Jayasuriya with such confidence made his realize that this kid was special.
“I had heard Virat Kohli’s name before the IPL auction from Lalchand Rajput. In an IPL game, I was the captain of the Mumbai Indians, Sachin paaji was sitting out. Virat Kohli hit Jayasuriya for a six by stepping out of his crease,” Harbhajan Singh said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’
“He was not afraid of the fact that a man of Jayasuriya’s stature was bowling to him. That showed me that he is one for the future,” Harbhajan further added.
Assumptions, expectations, impressions – what was your first memory of #KingKohli?
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) September 13, 2020
‘He always kept his focus on cricket’- Irfan Pathan on Virat Kohli
Meanwhile, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan said that his first impression of Virat Kohli was of a young man, who was enjoying his time both on and off the field. He also added that his unrelenting focus was evident from the first season itself and that has been one of the major reasons why he has gone on to become of the best players of the world.
“Whenever I used to watch Virat Kohli in the IPL, I used to see only one man. A young man who is enjoying both on the field as well as off the field. But he never sidelined cricket,” Irfan Pathan said.
“The good thing is that he always kept his focus on cricket. This is why he is one of the best players in the world right now and it shows how much commitment he has,” he added.
Since then, Virat Kohli has gone on to become the highest-run scorer in the history of the IPL but a titular heist has still alluded him, something he’ll be determined to achieve in IPL 2020.