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‘Wanted to wear a helmet’ – When Kohli kept wicket to Umesh on Dhoni’s request

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Virat Kohli, while in conversation with India teammate Mayank Agarwal on bcci.tv, recalled the time he kept wickets on MS Dhoni’s request, and wanted to wear a helmet while keeping to Umesh Yadav.

In the first ODI of India’s three-match series against Bangladesh in 2015, Kohli took over the wicketkeeping duties from Dhoni for an over – the 44th of the Bangladesh innings – which Umesh Yadav was bowling.

Kohli, who was India’s vice-captain, “was finding it very tough to pick the ball” with the floodlights on and with Yadav bowling at express pace, he wanted to wear a helmet but was too embarrassed to ask for one.

“Ask Mahi bhai [Dhoni] about how this happened,” Kohli replied when Agarwal quizzed him about the story behind him keeping wickets. “He just said, ‘Please keep wickets for two-three overs,’ and that is how it happened. I was keeping wickets and adjusting the field, then I understood that he has a lot on his plate when he is on the field. Because he has to focus every ball on keeping and adjusting the field and everything as well. So it was fun.

“What wasn’t fun was that I took the gloves in the 43rd over and Umesh was bowling gas. The ball had gotten old and it was under lights, I was finding it very tough to pick the ball. I thought it’d hit me on the jaw. I wanted to wear a helmet and stand behind but it would have been embarrassing.

“People would have made fun of me that this guy is even wearing a helmet while keeping to a fast bowler. So I had to really, really focus at that moment. It was funny but it was nice at the same time to do something different.”

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