Former India captain MS Dhoni is often credited by currently established players with how he built up their careers after seeing something special in them.
Be it Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, or even Virat Kohli! Yes, Virat Kohli owes his Test career to the backing from MS Dhoni early in his career when the selectors wanted to pick Rohit Sharma in the Test side.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag revealed how it was MS Dhoni to saved Virat Kohli’s Test career in the early part of Kohli’s career when he initially didn’t do well in the Test arena.
Sehwag reveals how MS Dhoni helped Virat Kohli survive his Test career
Virat Kohli made his Test debut in 2011, and in his first 6 Test matches, he averaged only 21. During the 2011/12 Test series in Australia, in the first two Tests, he managed scores of 11, 0, 23, and 9. The selectors wanted Dhoni to drop Kohli for Rohit Sharma, however, with the backing of Dhoni and Sehwag, the team decided to persist with Kohli for another game.
That third Test in Perth became the turning point of Kohli’s Test career as he put up scores of 44 and 75 on a very tough pitch in Perth where all other Indian batters struggled. Kohli backed it up with a century then in the 4th Test in Adelaide, and there his Test career took off.
“In 2012, the selectors wanted to play Rohit Sharma instead of Kohli at Perth. As the vice-captain, I and Dhoni decided to back Kohli. The rest is history,” Sehwag had revealed a few years ago about this unheard story.
Yes, as Sehwag says, the rest became history. Virat Kohli went on to become one of the greatest Test batters, alongside being arguably the greatest ODI batsman.
Kohli now has 111 Test matches under his belt in which he’s amassed 8676 runs at an average of 49.29 with 29 hundreds and as many fifties.
In the Test arena, as much as his batting exploits will be remembered, he went down as arguably the best Indian Test skipper with 40 wins – the most for an Indian captain by a distance- including leading India to become the first Asian side to win a Test series in Australia. Kohli formed an unprecedented fast-bowling group in the Indian team which helped India register Test match wins in England, South Africa, and Australia.