Virat Kohli debuted for Delhi in Novemeber, 2006 against Tamil Nadu. He made 10 runs in the match while Ishant, also on debut, impressed taking four wickets.
Virat Kohli debuted for Delhi in Novemeber, 2006 against Tamil Nadu. He made 10 runs in the match while Ishant, also on debut, impressed taking four wickets.

Former India pacer and chairman of selectors for Delhi Atul Wassan has revealed that he had to fight tooth and nail for Virat Kohli to be picked in the Delhi state side and went on to add that he also had a big role to play in Ishant Sharma getting the opportunity to play for the state, one of the powerhouses of Indian domestic circuit.

“The Delhi management wasn’t keen to pick them because they were playing for India U19. But I fought for them and both made their Ranji debut in the same match. And the rest is history,” Wasson, who played four Tests for India in 1990, told The Khaleej Times in Dubai.

“You know, Virat came from my academy. He first came to us when he was 11. I have seen him develop in his junior cricket days. I was the one who picked him and Ishant (Sharma) to play for Delhi,” he said.

Kohli, now the Indian captain and the leading batsman of his generation, made a big splash in age group cricket scoring at an average of 105 for India U-19 against England U-19 in July, 2006 before he he debuted for Delhi in Novemeber the same year against Tamil Nadu. He made 10 runs in the match while Ishant, also on debut, impressed taking four wickets.

Kohli then shot in the limelight when he scored 90 against Karnataka the same year, a day after his father’s death. Two years later, the Delhi batsman lead India U-19 to a World Cup triumph and soon after made his international debut against Sri Lanka.

Talking about Kohli’s ultra-aggressive demanour on field, Wassan revealed that his childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma and he had advised Kohli. According to Wassan, Kohli’s aggressiveness stems from the fact that the he is very confident about his abilities.

“His coach Raj Kumar Sharma is my very good friend. In fact, we started the academy together. So we spoke to Virat about his issues and he listened to us, you know. After that his focus has been amazing. Sometimes people think he is too aggressive on the field. But actually, he is just genuinely confident about his ability to manage everything. He wants to win every time he steps on the field,” added Wassan.