‘We gave Virat Kohli the chance to flourish and look where he is today’: Former chairman of selectors
Former chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth exudes a lot of pride when he speaks about the World Cup-winning squad which his panel named and which turned out to be the world champions in 2011. “When I took over as the chairman in 2008, my dream was to build a team that could win the 2011 World Cup. God has been kind and we had a captain like MS Dhoni, and the win was still one of the best moments of my cricketing journey,” Srikkanth told Times of India.
It was during this phase when Virat Kohli was starting out in international cricket and while, he took to ODI cricket like a duck takes to water, his performances in Test cricket was not as consistent. However, he found support from MS Dhoni as captain and the selection committee too decided to give him a long rope. Ever since his century in Adelaide during India’s 2011-12 tour of Australia, Kohli has never looked back, and this what Srikkanth fondly remembers.
“Let me also remind you, we were the ones who gave Virat Kohli the chance to flourish and look where he is today! So it has all been very satisfying,” he further added.
India has had a brilliant year in 2019 and Kohli has been one of the marquee players. The captain spoke about the performances and he also remembered the World Cup semi-finals when India were knocked out by New Zealand.
“Well, it’s been one of the best years for Indian cricket, to be honest, apart from playing the cricket that we played for half an hour in the World Cup. I think apart from that it’s been a beautiful year for us. We’ll keep chasing that ICC trophy, it’s something that this team deserves, it’s something that I feel should be accumulation of all the hard work we’ve done in the last few years, and we’ll keep chasing it. We’ll have that vision in place, but I think apart from that, the way we’ve played, the brand of cricket, it’s been wonderful to be a part of it,” the skipper said after India ended 2019 with a series win against West Indies.