Virat Kohli is without a doubt the biggest name in world cricket at the moment. In fact, a testament to Kohli’s famousness around the globe came when the director of LA Local Organising Committee (LALOG), Niccolo Campriani, used his huge fan following in the proposal to include cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Virat Kohli has achieved his name and fame through his cricket over the past 15 years as an India senior men’s player. Before making his international debut in 2008, that year, Virat Kohli had led India to victory in the 2008 Under-19 World Cup.
Over his journey, so far, Kohli has played with hundreds of players at different levels. There are few players who started their journeys alongside Virat Kohli but now have retired.
5 players who made debuts with Virat Kohli but are now retired:
Kolkata-born Shreevats Goswami, who played domestic cricket for Mizoram, was part of the 2008 U-19 World Cup winning team under Kohli. A left-handed wicket-keeper batsman, Shreevats Goswami never played for India. He recently announced his retirement from first-class cricket, having appeared in 61 FC matches. Goswami was part of 4 different IPL franchises – KKR, RCB, SRH, and RR.
Iqbal Abdullah, who last played in domestic cricket for Mizoram, recently took retirement from all forms of the game. The 33-year-old left-arm spinner was also part of Kohli’s 2008 U-19 team.
Iqbal Abdullah won the IPL 2012 with KKR under Gautam Gambhir. He also played for RCB under Kohli from 2015 to 2017. He picked over 400 wickets in his professional career.
Naman Ojha was a good wicket-keeper batsman from Madhya Pradesh who featured in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals. He could play only 4 international matches for India as his career coincided with those of MS Dhoni and Saha before Pant arrived. Naman Ojha, who played his sole Test match under Kohli, retired in 2021.
Subramaniam Badrinath is a domestic legend and he did very well in the initial stages of his career which got him his ODI debut for India in 2008, the same year as Virat Kohli. However, Subramaniam Badrinath couldn’t do much in the 7 ODIs, 1 T20I, and 2 Tests he played and was dropped from the side and never got picked again. Badrinath retired in 2018.
Left-handed Mumbai batsman Abhishek Nayar is another highly talented batsman who couldn’t hack it at the international level. He is a good friend of Rohit Sharma and both even shared an apartment during their early years as professional players in Mumbai. Nayar made his ODI debut in 2009 and played in only 2 more ODI matches. Nayar now works with KKR as a conditioning coach.