Former India cricketer and selector Dilip Vengsarkar has revealed that his decision to back Virat Kohli in 2008 was not approved by then BCCI secretary N Srinivasan and India captain MS Dhoni. Vengsarkar said that his decision to pick Kohli over Tamil Nadu batsman Subramanian Badrinath drew curtains on his career as India selector. The former India batsman was eventually replaced by teammate Kris Srikanth in 2008, two years into the job.
Speaking at a gathering of journalists, former India selector Dilip Vengsarkar said that MS Dhoni and then BCCI secretary N Srinivasan did not approve of picking Virat Kohli for the Sri Lanka tour of 2008. The former India batsman said that he and his committee thought of giving the U-23 players a chance. Virat Kohli had won the U-19 World Cup while had performed exceptionally on the India A tour to Australia. Dilip Vengsarkar, who was famously referred to as the 'Colonel', said that MS Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten were sceptical about Kohli's selection. MS Dhoni wanted the same team for the tour of Sri Lanka but Vengsarkar urged him to take Virat Kohli along and the Delhi batsman made a name for himself, scoring a half-century in the fourth game as an opener.
Dilip Vengsarkar added that his decision to include Virat Kohli in the 2008 tour of Sri Lanka over Badrinath was something N Srinivasan did not approve of. The Colonel reveals that Srinivasan was not happy and argued about Kohli's selection with him. He added that there was unease because Badrinath was part of the Srinivasan-backed CSK setup. He reveals that the former BCCI President questioned him how did Badrinath not make the cut to which Vengsarkar replied that Kohli had performed admirably in the Emerging Teams Tour of Australia. Srinivasan argued that the Tamil Nadu batsman had scored 800 runs for his state but Vengsarkar suggested that he will have his chance. However, the former India cricketer eventually fell out of favour with Srinivasan and was subsequently replaced by Kris Srikanth.