Virat Kohli is the undisputed star of Indian cricket. Having been at it for more than a decade, Virat Kohli has forged a reputation as one of the finest batsmen in the game.
The 32-year-old first shot to prominence when he guided India to the U-19 World Cup win in 2008. Since then there has been no looking back, with Virat Kohli breaking numerous records along the way.
Ahead of IPL 2021, Subramaniam Badrinath, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh sat down with Star Sports to share their first impressions of Virat Kohli.
Subramaniam Badrinath was the first to talk about Virat Kohli. The batsman recalled how he was on the field when Kohli made his first-class debut.
Discussing his temperament, Badrinath expounded on how Virat Kohli’s never-say-die attitude was evident from day one.
“The first time I met Virat Kohli was when he made his first-class debut. His first-class debut was against Tamil Nadu, I was leading Tamil Nadu. We were playing at the Feroz Shah Kotla. He was from then on I think, he wanted to be the best he can be. He wanted the challenges; he loved the challenges. But one thing that stood out about Virat was that he was always like ‘ Main jaake khelunga yeh spell’ (I will go and play this spell),” shared Badrinath.
Irfan Pathan was the next cricketer to talk about Virat Kohli. The all-rounder, who is currently recovering from COVID-19, admitted he was amazed by Kohli’s ability to balance everything on and off the field.
“Whenever I used to see Virat Kohli in the IPL, I only saw one player. Someone who was young, has reached a certain level and is now enjoying himself on and off the field. The next morning when you open the newspaper, Virat Kohli was everywhere. But he never sidelined cricket, and always kept his focus. That's why you see Virat Kohli has become such a special player. It shows his commitment to the game,” recalled Irfan.
How Virat Kohli impressed Harbhajan Singh with a single shot
The final player to share his first impression of Virat Kohli was Harbhajan Singh. The legendary off-spinner recounted how Kohli’s fearlessness against Sanath Jayasuriya in the IPL left him impressed.
“I had heard Virat Kohli’s name before the auction. Lalchand Rajput had told me there is a strong player in the U-19 team. I was the captain during the first Mumbai Indians game since Sachin Tendulkar was not playing. Virat Kohli came down the ground and hit Jayasuriya for a six. You could see he is not intimidated by Jayasuriya even then. Even though he got out in the next couple of overs, that shot showed Virat Kohli has something special about him,” shared Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli will be seen in the upcoming edition of IPL 2021. While Kohli will lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore once again, Harbhajan Singh will turn out for Kolkata Knight Riders.