Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has come a long way since his Test debut in the West Indies five years ago. Not only he is a prolific scorer, but has also proved to be an excellent captain so far. But, the Delhi batsman’s path to glory in the game’s longer format was not an easy one. He was not a favourable choice among the selectors who wanted Rohit Sharma to play in the third Test against Australia in 2012.
“The selectors were keen to have Rohit Sharma play instead of Virat Kohli at Perth in 2012. I was the vice-captain while MS Dhoni was leading the team. We decided to go with Kohli and rest is history,” former Indian opener Virender Sehwag said.
Sehwag is a part of the Hindi commentary panel in the ongoing Test series between India and England. During the lunch break show on the third day of the third Test at Mohali, the former opener revealed during the panel discussion.
Kohli justified the faith reposed on him by both Dhoni and Sehwag, scoring 44 and 75 runs in the Test on a bouncy WACA pitch at Perth. Sadly, the visitors lost the Test by an innings and 37 runs. The series turned out to be a ignominious one for India as they crashed to a 0-4 whitewash against Aussies. However, the match would be remembered for Kohli’s gritty knock on one of the bounciest pitch in the world.
Since then, Kohli did not look behind and continued to amass runs in Test format too. Out of his overall tally of 3,953 runs in 51 Tests, he has so far scored 1,276 of them against the Aussies. Interestingly, 992 out of those 1200-odd runs have come Down Under.
In contrast, Sharma had to wait for a year to make his Test debut. Although having performed exceptionally well in the game’s limited overs format, the Mumbaikar has not been able to cement his place in the Indian Test squad.
We do hope to see more of Rohit’s knocks in the Test format. But, Kohli take a bow.