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Ratification of Virat's talent

If there was one batsman who was unlucky to have missed out on an India Test berth over the past 18 months, it was Virat Kohli.

cricket Updated: May 28, 2011 00:56 IST
Amol Karhadkar

If there was one batsman who was unlucky to have missed out on an India Test berth over the past 18 months, it was Virat Kohli.

The Delhi youngster has not only been consistent in first-class cricket but has made optimum use of opportunities in ODIs.

Once Yuvraj Singh and Cheteshwar Pujara were unavailable for selection, Kohli's inclusion in the Test team was a foregone conclusion.

So, what exactly does the middle-order batsman bring to the team? "He knows the importance of being a team man," said Praveen Amre, who has seen Kohli evolve since his stint at the National Cricket Academy. "During the Emerging Players Tournament (in Australia in 2009), we lost the first four matches and I suggested to Virat he should open. He accepted the challenge, scored centuries in the next two matches and we returned after winning the tournament."

Talented youngsters often get disheartened for not being selected, but this 22-year-old is different. "Selection is the last thing on his mind," said Vijay Dahiya, former Delhi coach. "Given his talent, he knows all that he has to do is to perform."

Delhi coach Manoj Prabhakar has a word of caution. "Rohit Sharma is a class batsman but I rate Virat higher. Still, Virat needs to be patient. I have been telling him 'you cannot become Sachin Tendulkar overnight'."