India’s U19 coach in the successful 2008 Youth World Cup Dav Whatmore recalled a vibrant Virat Kohli, who had been just drafted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) edition that year, wanting to buy a car with the money he got.
Kohli had captained India to the U19 World Cup that year in Malaysia and Watmore recalled some of the interesting things about a then 18-year-old right-hander from Delhi.
“He always wanted to win the U-19 World Cup, as if nothing else would satisfy him; it happened around the time of the first Indian Premier League auction and there was a lot of talk, amongst the boys, about the possibility of some of them being picked. He told some of his teammates that he wanted to buy his first car with the money he got from the league and bought one soon after that,” Whatmore wrote in a column for Indian Express.
Kohli went onto make his India debut in 2008 as well in white-ball cricket and made his Test debut in 2011 against West Indies. He then became India captain in Tests in 2014-15 and then took over from MS Dhoni in all formats in 2017.
He Was A More On-Side Player Then: Dav Whatmore On Virat Kohli’s Technique In U19 Days
Dav Whatmore said that Kohli was always super motivated and energetic. He brought the best out of his players and led from the front on the field. Whatmore also said that he was composed as a person on the inside, despite showing his emotions on the outside while playing.
He also shared his views about Kohli’s batting in those days and wrote: “Right from those days, Kohli had a good technique and it was more a case of fine-tuning bits here and there, besides getting into good positions and trusting the basics. He was a more on-side player then. Lots of flicks and on-drives. He was not much of a cover-driver back then as he is now. The shot did not stand out then as it does today. Those were the shots he picked up along the way, I guess. That’s how great batsmen are, they are always learning something or the other.”
Now 33, Virat Kohli will play his 100th Test match for India in Mohali when the Rohit Sharma-led side clashes with Sri Lanka in the first match of the Two-Test series on March 4.