Did you know that Virat Kohli was once rejected by the Under-15 selectors? Or how the Indian test skipper came to acquire the nickname ‘Chikoo’?
Driven: The Virat Kohli Story, a new book on the cricketer, peppered with anecdotes and incidents, traces his journey right from the early days to his international career and subsequent stardom.
Written by journalist Vijay Lokpally, the book was launched last evening, with cricket legends such as Kapil Dev, Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble in attendance.
Here’s a sneak peek of some interesting tidbits from the book, which can surprise even hardcore fans of the dashing batsman.
1. Kohli was ignored by the Under-15 Delhi selectors despite scoring big in junior tournaments. The young batsman was dejected and his coach even considered shifting base from Delhi so that Kohli could play for another state. Some seniors dissuaded him from moving and in the following year, the selectors could not ignore Kohli who had gone on a scoring spree.
2. In 2014, Kohli presented a a Skoda Rapid as a Teacher’s Day gift to his first coach, Rajkumar Sharma. Kohli’s brother Vikas went to the coach’s house to hand over the keys, surprising Sharma.
3. Delhi assistant coach Ajit Chowdhary is responsible for Kohli’s nickname, Chikoo . Delhi was playing a Ranji Trophy match in Mumbai. Kohli was a junior member. One evening, he returned to the team hotel sporting a new hairstyle. He was asking his teammates how it looked when Chowdhary commented, “Not bad, you look like a Chikoo.” The name has stuck since then, but Kohli does not mind at all.
3. Kohli was not just born to play cricket, but to lead as well. The book, quotes Kohli’s first coach, Sharma, who says that from the day he played his first match for the West Delhi Cricket Academy, Kohli would assume leadership. “He would become captain and call the shots. Even his seniors would marvel at his reading of the game,” says Sharma.
4. Kohli was always slotted to bat at number 4, but he had a tendency to pad up along with the openers. And whenever he got out, he used to be very upset. He remains the same even now.
5. After making it to the Under-15 Delhi team, Kohli used to nag his coach to approach bat manufacturers and get him a contract. Sharma approached bat manufacturer BDM and had to do a bit of talking to convince the Meerut-based firm. Kohli used BDM through his early days and even for the initial part of his international career .