India captain Virat Kohli is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world at the moment. The right-handed batsman has already achieved huge milestones in his young career, and cricketing pundits continue to ponder over what more he could achieve before the end of his career. In a recent interaction, veteran Harbhajan Singh recalled his first encounter with Kohli and said that he immediately recognised that Kohli was going to be a star.
Harbhajan, who pulled out of IPL 2020 earlier this month citing personal reasons, recalled an Indian Premier League match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2008 in which a young Virat Kohli struck Sanath Jayasuriya for a six.
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“I had heard Virat Kohli’s name before the IPL auction from Lalchand Rajput. In an IPL game, I was the captain of the Mumbai Indians, Sachin paaji was sitting out. Virat Kohli hit Jayasuriya for a six by stepping out of his crease,” Harbhajan said on Star Sports’ show ‘IPL memories’.
“He was not afraid of the fact that a man of Jayasuriya’s stature was bowling to him. That showed me that he is one for the future,” Harbhajan further added.
Assumptions, expectations, impressions – what was your first memory of #KingKohli?
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Former India pacer Irfan Pathan also recalled early encounters with Kohli and said that he realised quickly how focused the batsman was towards his game.
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“Whenever I used to watch Virat Kohli in the IPL, I used to see only one man. A young man who is enjoying both on the field as well as off the field. But he never sidelined cricket,” Pathan said.
“The good thing is that he always kept his focus on cricket. This is why he is one of the best players in the world right now and it shows how much commitment he has,” he further added.
Kohli-led RCB will look to win their first IPL title this year in the UAE when the tournament kicks off from September 19th.