Selectors Wanted To Drop Virat And Play Rohit Sharma: When MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag Saved Kohli's Test Career

September 21,2023

Virat Kohli is one of the best batsmen across three formats at present and owns numerous records. The former India captain has shattered multiple records during his 15-year career thus far and is on the cusp of achieving many more feats. Kohli's rise in international cricket wasn't an easy one and he got dropped from the ODI team in his debut year.

The same thing happened in Test cricket and Kohli was dropped from the red-ball team after his debut series against West Indies in 2011. Even though Kohli made his Test comeback a series later, he had to warm the bench.

During the Australia tour in 2011/12, Kohli was on the cusp of losing his place once again when MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag decided to back him. It turned out to be a career-saving move for Kohli.

The selection committee wanted Kohli to make way for Rohit Sharma for the Perth Test match against Australia. Rohit was yet to play a Test match. Sehwag and Dhoni decided to back Kohli.

"The selectors wanted to play Rohit Sharma instead of Kohli at Perth in 2012. I was vice-captain and Dhoni was leading the team, and we decided that we have to back Kohli. The rest is history," Sehwag revealed in 2016.

The backing did wonders for Kohli's career and he shone in Perth and Adelaide. He played knocks of 44 and 75 in Perth. In Adelaide, Kohli smashed a century to return home as India's only centurion on the tour.

Two years later, Kohli led Team India in two Test matches against Australia. And in 2018, he became the first Asian captain to win a Test series Down Under.

Kohli finished his captaincy career with 40 wins, the most for an Indian captain, from 68 matches. He has scored 8676 runs in 111 Tests and is expected to breach the 10000-run mark before calling it quits.

Rohit, who stayed on the bench in Australia, finally made his Test debut against West Indies in 2013. He is now the all-format captain of Team India.