Watch: Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid share special message for Virat Kohli ahead of 100th Test

Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid led the way as India players with over 100 Test caps welcomed Virat Kohli to the club. 
Kohli is set to become the 12th Indian player to play 100 Test matches. (Getty/PTI)
Kohli is set to become the 12th Indian player to play 100 Test matches. (Getty/PTI)
Published on Mar 02, 2022 08:33 PM IST
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Virat Kohli is set to become the 12th Indian player to play 100 Test matches when he walks out with the team to face Sri Lanka in the first Test in Mohali on Friday. Kohli, who made his Test debut in 2011 and captained India between 2014 and 2021, has scored 7962 runs in 99 Test matches at an average of 50.39, with 27 centuries and 28 half centuries to his name. 

Sachin Tendulkar, who is the only cricketer to have played 200 Tests, said that he had first heard of Kohli when the latter was leading the Indian team in the U19 World Cup in Malaysia in 2008. 

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“I remember the first time I heard about you was when we were in Australia in 2007 (2008),” said Tendulkar in a video posted on the website of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).  

"You guys were playing the U19 World Cup in Malaysia. That is when there were certain players in the team who were discussing about you. 'This is one player to watch out for. Achhi batting kar raha hai (He is batting well)'.

"After that we played cricket together for India. Not for long, but whatever time we spent together, it was evident that you were good at learning things. You wanted to keep working on your game and continue getting better. You have been a terrific role model as far as fitness is concerned obviously. 

“But your real strength is that you have been able to motivate the next generation. That is your immense contribution to Indian cricket. It has been fantastic to watch you over the years. Congratulations on your 100th Test appearance for India, what a terrific achievement. I wish you many more happy cricketing years. Go out and do well,” said Tendulkar. 

Tendulkar retired in 2013, by which time Kohli had become a regular in the team. The two players were part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup. 

Rahul Dravid, who is currently the head coach of the Indian team and had batted with Kohli in his debut Test match, said that the former India captain has many years of cricket left in him. 

“It is not easy to play 100 Test matches. Test cricket is not easy. To be able to play one is great, to be able to play 100 is a fantastic achievement. It is something Virat Kohli can be proud of,” said Dravid, who with 164 caps has played the second most number of Tests for India after Tendulkar.  

“When he played his first Test match I was batting alongside him. It has been incredible to see how he has grown over the last 10 years or so. The way he has grown as a cricketer and a person. He has carried this team for a long time, been the captain for the last five or six years of the last 10 years he has played in. He has always delivered, averages over 50 in 100 Test matches. It is a great achievement for one of India's greatest players. Just looking at his fitness and where he is, he has a lot more to go and I am sure it is not something that he will be satisfied with.”

BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly himself played 113 Tests.  “Virat's had a great journey. Starting 10-11 years ago and getting to where he has reached today is an exceptional achievement. On behalf of BCCI and also a former captain and player who has played 100 Test matches and more, I wish him all the very best,” said Ganguly.  

“He has had a fantastic career and he is still got some time left to achieve greater milestone and I hope he continues doing that. Congratulations to him, his family, his coach and all those who were involved in his cricketing career.”

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma also appears in the video. Kohli was captain when Ishant played his 100th Test in Kolkata against Bangladesh in November 2019, which was also the first pink ball Test to be played in India. 

Virender Sehwag, who was the first player from Delhi to play over 100 Test matches, also congratulated Kohli, as did his former team mate Harbhajan Singh and former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar. 

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Sunday, June 26, 2022