Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. Image Credit: X

Virat Kohli might be one of the most successful batters in the world today, but even he admitted to being nervous when he made his ICC ODI World Cup debut back in 2011. Kohli made his India ODI debut in 2008 against Sri Lanka and then made his CWC debut against Bangladesh in 2011.

Although he failed to lead India to an ICC trophy as skipper, Kohli was part of the Indian team that won the 2011 ODI World Cup at home. Kohli was one of the few young faces in the Indian team with stalwarts like Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, and Zaheer Khan to name a few.

India played their first match in the 2011 World Cup in the tournament opener against co-hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka. Kohli admits to having butterflies in his stomach after being allowed to play with Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and others.

“It was against Bangladesh in Dhaka, my first game and I was nervous. Yes, I will not lie. There is a different sense of excitement in the air when you come for a World Cup and I could obviously sense that. I was the youngest member of that team and I was getting to play with all these greats of Indian cricket in a World Cup game,” the right-handed batter told Star Sports.

That nervousness helped me stay alert and precise: Virat Kohli

Kohli produced a memorable innings, scoring an unbroken 100 off 83 balls, including 8 fours and 2 sixes. He also shared a 203-run partnership with Sehwag, who tortured the opposition bowlers with 175.

Kohli hasn’t looked back since, scoring 1795 runs in 37 matches at an average of 59.83 with 5 hundreds. In the recent ICC World Cup 2023, Kohli broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most runs in one edition of 673 and scored 765 runs. He also broke Tendulkar’s record for most centuries in ODIs, going past the record 49 and becoming the first batter to have 50 ODI hundreds.

“For me, it was definitely a moment where I was a bit nervous heading into the game and definitely the night before I was quite nervous but that is a good sign as well because your body is preparing you to enter a situation where you’re alert, you’re not taking things for granted. I think that nervousness helped me to be aware, be alert and be precise in the execution of my plans,” he added.

Kohli is expected to play a big part for the Men in Blue when they start their T20 World Cup campaign on June 5 against Paul Stirling’s Ireland.

Also Read: No Retentions But… – KKR CEO Venky Mysore’s Innovative Suggestion For IPL 2025 Mega Auction