It is a well known fact that India’s charismatic player Virat Kohli admired Sachin Tendulkar when he was taking small steps towards becoming an international cricketer. On the other hand, ever since Virat Kohli cemented his place among the modern greats of the game, Sachin Tendulkar has become one of his all-time supporters, sending his best wishes to the Delhi-born batsman whenever he lit up the ground with his bat. Once again, Sachin Tendulkar’s love for Virat Kohli came to the fore when he congratulated Virat for his historic century against West Indies in Port of Spain.
Sachin Tendulkar wrote on instagramAnother day, another century from Virat Kohli. Brilliant!”
The legendary cricketer’s social media post for Virat Kohli became an instant hit as many cricket fans appreciated the camaraderie between the former great batsman and the current icon of Indian cricket.
— Eddie (@cricadarsh) 21 July 2023
God of cricket recognizes the king of cricket ?
– Karthik2.0 ✪ (@mysterio_87_) 21 July 2023
Virat’s idol Sachin and Virat as well as everyone else respect him, but Babar’s idol Virat and his fans have not been taught this thing in their country. How to respect your role model?@babarazam258
– Shubham_Srivastava ?? (@4u_shubh365) 21 July 2023
Sachin Tendulkar was all praise for Virat Kohli after India’s premier batsman created a unique world record as he became the first cricketer to score a century in his 500th international match on Friday.
The Delhi-born superstar’s feat came on Day 2 of the second Test against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In contrast, the second Test against the West Indies is Virat Kohli’s 500th match. If we break down the stats further, he has represented India in 110 Tests, 274 ODIs and 115 T20Is.
Incidentally, Virat Kohli’s 76th century in international cricket during the weekend made him the fastest to the milestone as he dethroned his idol Sachin Tendulkar from the top spot. While Sachin Tendulkar needed 587 innings to reach the milestone, Virat Kohli needed only 559 innings.
Virat Kohli, who remained unbeaten on 87 on the first day of the second Test, looked in tremendous rhythm against the Caribbean bowlers. Apart from nursing one and two kids with relative ease, the Delhi-born cricketer has never been seen stepping out. But an unfortunate misunderstanding between him and Ravindra Jadeja cost him his dismissal as Virat Kohli had to leave the field after scoring a well-deserved century. A straight throw got him out for 121.
Although he was completely disappointed to be run out of the crease as he looked to be on his way to a double hundred, the 34-year-old still created history at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Before Virat Kohli, only three Indians had featured in 500 international matches – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
In addition, Virat Kohli surpassed Virender Sehwag to become the fifth highest run-scorer for India in Test cricket.
While Sehwag’s run count was 8586 in the five-day version of the game, Kohli now has 8676 runs in red-ball cricket.
With his century in Trinidad, Virat Kohli equaled Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 29 centuries in Tests. Bradman is regarded as the greatest batsman in the history of cricket and equaling his feat must have given Kohli immense satisfaction.
The hundred against Kraigg Brathwaite and his boys helped Virat Kohli narrow the gap with the great Sunil Gavaskar, who has five more centuries than the former in White. India’s top century-makers in Tests are Sachin Tendulkar (51), Rahul Dravid (36) and Sunil Gavaskar (34).
Talking specifically about scoring three-figure scores at No.4, Virat Kohli surpassed former West Indies great Brian Lara, who scored 24 centuries at that position. Although Kohli has 25 at that position, three players are ahead of him, and they are Sachin Tendulkar (44), Jacques Kallis (35), and Mahela Jayawardene (30).
England’s Joe Root and Australia’s Steve Smith have 19 centuries at number four among active cricketers.
Also, unlike Sachin Tendulkar, who could only complete one century in the Caribbean during his illustrious career that spanned 24 years, this was Virat Kohli’s second century in the West Indies after his first double century in 2016.
However, he is still well behind Sunil Gavaskar, who retired with seven centuries in the West Indies. On the other hand, Rahul Dravid, Dilip Sardesai and Polly Umrigar ended their careers with three centuries each in the Caribbean.
Notably, this was Virat Kohli’s first overseas century since 2018, when he reached the three-figure mark against Australia in Perth.
However, the former Indian captain did not attach much importance to these figures while talking to the media at the end of the second day’s play.
“To be honest, these things are for others to talk about from the outside. I have scored 15 centuries away from home, it is not a very bad record. I have got more centuries outside the house than I have got at home. We haven’t played 30 Test matches away from home. I don’t know how many matches we have played but it is not a big number. I have had a few 50 plus scores but if I score a fifty it is like I have missed a hundred and if I score 120 it is like I have missed a double hundred. Virat Kohli said, “I just have to focus on what I can do for the team and try to bat to the best of my ability and help the team as much as possible.”
“These stats and milestones, if I do them in a situation where the team needs me, to me it is much more special than ticking off numbers. To be honest, it won’t make any sense in 15-20 years. The impact you left on the field is more special for me and the team.
“I was quite happy with the way I executed things, took my time. When I walked in, he was bowling in a very good area. I had to be patient because the ball was getting soft, the surface was slow and the outfield was also slow. The run scoring was not as fluent as one would expect. I had to work hard and it was very satisfying because of all these factors,” explained Virat Kohli.
But India’s current head coach Rahul Dravid heaped praise on Virat Kohli, saying that behind his success on the field was the star cricketer’s work ethic, dedication and hard work.
Dravid said, “There is no doubt that she is a real inspiration to many players in this team, to many boys and girls in India.” “His numbers and statistics speak for themselves, his performances – it is all in the book. But I think the best thing for me is the effort and work that he puts in behind the scenes when no one is watching,” said Rahul Dravid.
“Having played 500 games and being here for 12-13 years he is still very strong, very fit, energy and enthusiasm, it is really fantastic. It hasn’t been easy, it’s come from a lot of hard work behind the scenes, a lot of sacrifices he’s made over the course of his career and he wants to continue doing that. That’s something that’s great for a coach, you can see a lot of young players will pick up on it and be inspired by it,” Rahul Dravid added.
Dravid said, “It is good to see Virat’s journey.” “When I was playing, he was a young player. And while I wasn’t involved in the team as such, I watched from the outside with great admiration at what he had done and what he continues to achieve.”
“And now over the last 18 months they’ve got to know a little [since taking over as coach], chat with him, get to know him personally as well, it’s been nice. I have really enjoyed it, I have learned a lot from him. So in many ways, I have really enjoyed it and hope he gets too,” the former veteran batsman said.
“You don’t need to say anything, just the way you conduct yourself, the way you carry yourself, the way you practice and your fitness, it’s an inspiration for many players coming through the system. Hope they follow that and get inspired to play so many games like Virat. Longevity comes with a lot of hard work, discipline, adaptability and he has shown it all. May this continue for a long time,” concluded the India head coach.
Meanwhile, West Indies icon Courtney Walsh, who has been watching Virat Kohli’s innings from the commentary box, compared the Indian superstar to Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards.
“Well, as a great Indian, I would rate him right behind Sachin. Sachin is one of the greatest players I have seen and played against,” Courtney Walsh said on GeoCinema.
“Brian Lara, Viv Richards, I would put them from a West Indian perspective. Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh. When I was young, I played two gentlemen. There are also England’s Graham Gooch and Javed Miandad, against whom I might not have played as many matches, but the price they put on their wickets reminds me of Virat Kohli as well. He doesn’t want to go. So I would definitely put him in my top 4, top 5 greatest cricketers I have seen,” the West Indies legend elaborated.
“He has passion for the game, he wants to make a mark in the game. I remember having a conversation with him when I was a selector for the West Indies and he was the captain. We were talking. You can tell he wants to be the best. He was willing to take advice from anyone who would help do so. I am not surprised by this achievement. “The passion he has and the passion he has, he should be top 3, top 5 in everything,” Courtney Walsh said.