5 Players Who Debuted With Virat Kohli But Faded Away
Virat Kohli made his ODI debut on August 18, 2008, versus Sri Lanka soon after he had led India to the under-19 World Cup title earlier that. He made his T20I and Test debut in the next three years and what followed is one of the greatest cricketing careers of all time.
Virat Kohli shattered a plethora of batting records and, with 70 international centuries and 23650 runs, he became the closest an Indian batsman has come to the great Sachin Tendulkar. He was named the ICC Player Of The Decade for his astonishing achievements.
As Virat Kohli reached the pinnacle of world cricket, there have been a few other cricketers who made their debut close to after Kohli’s debut, but they faded away.
Here are five Indian cricketers who debuted with Virat Kohli but soon fell apart:
Subramaniam Badrinath is famous as the crisis man of Chennai Super Kings. Although he was a stalwart at CSK, Badrinath, a domestic legend, couldn’t get his India career going. He made his ODI debut on August 20, 2008, in the very next match as Virat Kohli did.
Unlike Kohli, though, the Tamil Nadu batter got to play only 7 ODIs, 1 T20I, and 2 Tests with just a solitary fifty-plus score. He continued to plunder big runs in domestic cricket until calling time in 2018.
A highly talented batsman and medium-pacer Abhishek Nayar made his ODI debut in 2009 and featured in only 2 more ODIs; he got to bat in only one match – his last ODI- and even in which he remained unbeaten on 0 after facing 7 balls; incidentally, Virat Kohli scored 79* in a chase of 130 vs West Indies. Nayar was never picked again for India.
Nayar, a former Mumbai Indians batsman, played domestic cricket till 2018 before being appointed to the coaching staff of KKR.
One of the finest wicket-keeper-batters in the country, Naman Ojha made his India debut in 2010, however, could get himself in India’s eleven for only 1 Test, 1 ODI and a couple of T20Is because of the presence of MS Dhoni. Ojha managed 69 runs in his 4 matches for India.
The Madhya Pradesh batsman, who also batted for SRH and DD in the IPL, last played first-class cricket in 2020 before retiring in 2021. He was recently part of the India Legends team in the Road Safety World Series tournament.
Jharkhand’s Saurabh Tiwary burst onto the scene with his MS Dhoni hairstyle and hard-hitting batting, making the first big noise in the 2010 IPL, helping Mumbai Indians reach the final and bagging the Emerging Player of the Season award.
Impressive performances everywhere earned him an India ODI cap in 2010. He scored 49 runs in 3 matches before being dropped and never to be picked up again for the country. His IPL numbers took a nosedive so did his domestic numbers. He had recently gone unsold in the IPL 2022 mega-auction. The 32-year-old still has plenty of gas left in the tank and continues to play domestic cricket.
Abhinav Mukund was part of the India under-19 squad under Virat Kohli in 2008. After slamming loads of runs in domestic cricket – including a triple-century – Mukund got his India Test cap in 2011 on the West Indies tour when both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were injured.
His international career couldn’t really kick-off as he’d have expected and remained a backup opener. He featured in 7 Tests between 2011 and 2017, averaging 22 with a couple of fifties to his name. He played in 3 IPL matches combined for CSK and RCB.
Mukund plundered over 10,000 first-class runs and more than 4000 List-A runs with his last match for Tamil Nadu coming in 2020.