Considered as a white-ball specialist at the start of his career, Virat Kohli struggled in the longest format and was dropped from the Indian team after his first series against the West Indies. He did manage to make a comeback but mostly spent time on the bench. Courtesy MS Dhoni’s backing, Kohli got a chance to play all four Test matches in Australia, where he was the only visiting batsman to score a century.
In 2014, Kohli played his first Test series in England and was the centre of attention, but he failed to deliver. The right-handed batsman struggled against England’s pacers and only managed 134 runs in 10 innings. James Anderson dismissed him four times in the series.
Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir, who is now a Member of Parliament (MP), in a recent interview said England series would have ended Kohli’s Test career but thanks to Dhoni that Kohli got another opportunity.
Also, former pacer Ashish Nehra after his retirement in November 2017 said that Dhoni and Ajay Jadeja are the two shrewdest cricketing brains he has ever interacted.
This all seems to have something with Dhoni’s school days, during which he might have been chalking a plan to take India on the top.
During an interview with ThePrint, when asked about his favourite subject in school, Dhoni revealed that it was maths which he used to like a lot.
“That’s a difficult one! I was very good at Maths till class V, and after that, algebra and everything came in, and I started playing cricket, so it became slightly tough. So, if I have to pick something, I would say I like Maths, the reason being I was good at it, and even after class VI, though I was quite bad, I loved geometry,” said Dhoni.
In 2018, Dhoni, while visiting Virender Sehwag’s school on the outskirts of Delhi, revealed how much he managed to score in his 10th and 12th board exams.
Dhoni didn’t perform exceptionally well in his board exams and just managed a score of 56 per cent in 12th and 66 in 10th. For Mahi, cricket took precedence as he often travelled out of Ranchi to play matches while he was in 12th standard.
On the other hand, Kohli too was not an academic student. But by his own admission was smart enough to understand things. Mathematics was one subject that Kohli feared the most during his school days.
“So in Math, we used to have exams and the maximum marks we could get in 100, right. I used to get 3; I was that good. And I did not understand why someone would even want to learn math. I could not understand the complications behind it, I have never used those formulas in life,” Virat had said in 2019 during a chat show ‘In Depth With Graham Bensinger’.
“I just wanted to get through my 10th Grade exam because they used to happen at a state level and after that, you could choose if you wanted to continue with math or not. I’m telling you, have never worked that hard in cricket the way I did to pass in that exam,” Kohli added.