Dilip Vengsarkar is considered as one of India’s better chairman of selectors for his ability to identify talents and he always knew that Virat Kohli has exceptional talent when he first saw him in his early days. His tenure as chairman of the national selection committee between 2006-08 is often considered as a benchmark as he backed Kohli and promoted Mahendra Singh Dhoni to captaincy as well.
“Selecting talent was my forte. I will tell you something. You might be good at spotting talent but what you do after spotting is very important. If someone is talented, you have to induct him and give him chances,” Vengsarkar told PTI in an exclusive interview.
Vengsarkar thinks that he was able to do justice to the chairman’s post because he spent a lot of time as head of BCCI’s now-defunct Talent Research Development Wing that helped to find the talents like MS Dhoni. Moreover, he picked a young Kohli for the Emerging India team’s tour of Australia too.
“I have watched a lot of U-16 and U-19s as TRDW chairman and watched Virat a lot during his junior cricket days. So when I became chairman of selection committee, we picked him for an Emerging Tour of Australia. I was there and when I saw him bat, I knew he is ready for big-time cricket,” Vengsarkar recalled.
However, there is a funny story about how Mahendra Singh Dhoni, inducted into the TRDW scheme. As it was the policy of having only U-19 players and Dhoni was 21 years old at that time. It was on the insistence of former Bengal captain Prakash Poddar, who went to watch a U-19 match in Jamshedpur as part of Vengsarkar’s TRDW team where Bihar (now Jharkhand) were playing a Ranji one-day game and it took place at a ground adjacent to the Keenan Stadium.
There, a few balls flew into the playing arena outside the stadium which made Poddar very curious and he went to search for this as to who was hitting it this big. It was none other than MS Dhoni who was hitting those big shots. But he had already surpassed the qualifying age for TRDW. Then Vengsarkar, on Poddar’s insistence, decided that a talented player like Dhoni should get the chance. Even, he has immense respect for the late Jagmohan Dalmiya, who actually started the TRDW scheme which eventually became defunct after he lost the elections.
To stay updated with all the Cricket News, Live Score, Match Prediction, Match Analysis, and much more interesting IPL blogs, follow Cricadium.