When Kohli survived on Dhoni's insistence, he could have been out of the team, Pakistani player revealed


MS Dhoni Virat Kohli Team India:  Virat Kohli is a modern-day legend, known for his brilliant performance in all formats. He has achieved this title by overcoming the difficulties faced in the early stages of his career. The credit for Kohli's comeback in the early years largely goes to former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who supported him completely. Veteran Pakistani cricketer Umar Akmal recalled a difficult phase in Kohli's career. He told how Dhoni saved him from being dropped from the Indian team.


Akmal narrated the story of 2013

Speaking on Geo News during the 2024 T20 World Cup, Akmal recalled Pakistan's 2012/13 tour of India. Talking about Kohli's dip in form in recent times, he revealed that the Indian star was going through a similar phase when the Team India manager asked the then-captain Dhoni to drop him from the last ODI. Dhoni then asked the manager to make Suresh Raina the captain in the last match against Pakistan. Mahi asked to book tickets for him and Kohli immediately. Akmal was shocked to hear this answer.

The conversation took place during dinner.

Akmal said, "I was once having dinner with Dhoni. Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, and Shoaib Malik were also there. I used to ask him what he would do when he quit cricket. In 2013, we went on a tour to India. We won that series. Virat Kohli was also going through a similar phase. Then the manager of Team India came in and told Dhoni not to play Kohli in the last ODI match. I saw Dhoni's face and he looked disappointed."

Dhoni gave this answer.

Akmal further said, "Then Dhoni said 'I have not gone home for six months. Why don't you book tickets for me and Kohli? Raina can captain the final match.' I was shocked and kept staring at Dhoni's face. The manager then said okay do whatever you want to do. You can play Kohli in the last game. Then I asked Dhoni why he replied that way, and he explained, 'Virat is our best batsman. If he fails to perform in just 3-4 matches then why should we put him on the bench?'

Kohli got the support of Rohit-Dravid

Like Dhoni, Kohli also received support from captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid throughout the 2024 T20 World Cup. He repaid that faith by scoring 75 runs in 59 balls in the final against South Africa. Team India defeated South Africa and won the title.