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Virat Kohli Thanks Suresh Raina For Career-Boosting Support
By CricShots - May 19, 2024 2:18 pm
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Star Indian batter Virat Kohli and former legendary southpaw Suresh Raina have shared many memorable moments on the cricket field. The duo was part of the Indian squad that clinched the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. Their camaraderie extends off the field as well, forged through years of playing together for the country.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina

Recently, Virat Kohli opened up about his relationship with Raina, reflecting on his early days before breaking into the Indian team. He recalled a pivotal tournament where Raina took notice of his talent and advocated for his inclusion in the playing XI. Kohli shared that Raina insisted coach Pravin Amre give him a chance, even suggesting that Kohli open the innings if necessary.

“It was mid-tournament, and S Badrinath was the captain initially, then Raina took over. Pravin Amre was our coach and had me sitting out because I didn’t perform well in the initial games, playing in the middle order. Raina saw me in the nets and asked, ‘Why isn’t this lad playing?'” Virat Kohli recounted, as quoted by News18.

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The response was that they couldn’t find a place for him, and Amre believed Kohli couldn’t open the innings. However, Raina insisted, saying, “He can do anything, please put him in.” Virat Kohli was asked if he would open, and he eagerly accepted, saying, “I shall do anything, just let me play.”

 

Virat Kohli went on to score 12 runs against New Zealand, a performance that caught the attention of then-team India selector Dileep Vengsarkar. This significant innings played a crucial role in shaping Kohli’s international career. Kohli expressed his gratitude towards Raina for his support during that critical juncture.

“It is one thing to hear about a batter and another to actually watch him play. It has a separate impact. How he handles pressure situations is crucial, and that game I managed to score 120. Vengsarkar was convinced to give me a chance going forward. I am thankful to Raina for putting in a good word for me,” Virat Kohli concluded.

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This story not only highlights Kohli’s determination and talent but also underscores the importance of mentorship and support in a young athlete’s career. Raina’s faith in Kohli’s abilities and his advocacy made a significant impact on the latter’s journey, setting the stage for one of the most illustrious careers in modern cricket.