Virat Kohli made his India debut in 2008 during the time Sachin Tendulkar was seeing resurgence in his game. When Sachin retired in 2013, against West Indies, there wasn’t a dry eye at the Wankhede Stadium or in the homes who watched the match on TVs.
Virat Kohli was part of that farewell series for Sachin Tendulkar and now 5 years later, Kohli is India captain, the greatest batsman in the world and in sight of Tendulkar's ODI records. While Tendulkar leads the list of century-scorers in ODIs, Kohli is second with 35 hundreds to his name.
During the launch of his book Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians, Boria Majumdar talked about the moment Kohli gifted something close to his heart to Tendulkar. Kohli had walked up to Tendulkar and offered him an invaluable gift - threads given to a young Virat by his father. Virat had been told to give those threads to someone he respected immensely.
Kohli went on to touch Tendulkar's feet - Sachin then embraced him and said: 'Tujhe wohaan nahin, yahaan hona hai' (Your place is here, not there).
Speaking at the book launch, Kohli spoke about the bonding shared by the two cricketers.
Kohli said, "I don't have too many people who are very close to me. That is just the way life has gone on for so many years. Because naturally when someone has stuck by me in tough times, I value that person a lot. I continue to do that. The impact he has had in my life growing up.... I understand the importance of it.”
Kohli continued, “If someone can inspire you like that and you end up becoming someone and you feel like there is no greater pleasure than that. So that (handing his father's threads over to Tendulkar) was just a gesture of thank you to the guy who has inspired me to do what I am doing. For me, the human connect is paramount. Incentives, gains ... these things do not matter to me. If someone is honest with me, that's what matters.”
Over the past two years, Kohli has scored six double hundreds in Test cricket and became the first batsman in history to score double hundreds in four successive series.