Virat Kohli broke through in the IPL after winning the U-19 World Cup for India in 2008. He was signed up for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and in the first season and since then has stayed with them throughout. Indian cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan recall their first impressions and memories of watching the Indian skipper in the IPL on Star Sports special show Cricket Connected.

Harbhajan said the first memories of Kohli was seeing him hit former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya for a six by stepping out of his crease. Bhajji further added that seeing hi hit a seasoned campaigner for a six made him believe that he was special and meant for bigger things.

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Harbhajan, Irfan Pathan recall watching Virat Kohli in 2008

“I had heard Virat Kohli’s name before the IPL auction from Lalchand Rajput. In an IPL game, I was the captain of the Mumbai Indians, Sachin paaji was sitting out. Virat Kohli hit Jayasuriya for a six by stepping out of his crease,” Harbhajan Singh said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.

“He was not afraid of the fact that a man of Jayasuriya’s stature was bowling to him. That showed me that he is one for the future,” Harbhajan further added.

Like Harbhajan, Irfan Pathan shared his memories of seeing Virat Kohli for the first time in the IPL as well. The left-arm pacer said that Virat was always enjoying the game both on and off the field. He also added that its Kohli’s unflinching passion and focus towards the game which sets him apart and makes him world-class.

“Whenever I used to watch Virat Kohli in the IPL, I used to see only one man. A young man who is enjoying both on the field as well as off the field. But he never sidelined cricket,” Irfan Pathan said.

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“The good thing is that he always kept his focus on cricket. This is why he is one of the best players in the world right now and it shows how much commitment he has,” he added.

Kohli’s RCB has promised more than it delivered every year and having assembled a balanced squad in the words of the skipper himself, the Bangalore skipper will be aiming for his first IPL title.