Kolkata: “The Run Machine” being his middle name, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been on a rampage when it comes to breaking records in recent times.
Just when India looked to be in a spot of bother on the fifth day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka, the 29-year-old rose to the occasion and struck a magnificent century, his 50th in international cricket and almost took India to a memorable victory.
But Kohli feels that the journey isn’t long yet as he said, “It feels good. It hasn’t been a long journey yet. If I can step up and perform, that will give me more pleasure than thinking of the number of hundreds I have. That will remain the mindset till I play this game.”
Sri Lanka dominated the first four days of the match while India looked to regain the momentum in the last session of the fourth day and the fifth day. After Kohli scripted a magnificent Indian comeback with a timely 104*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred with the ball to scalp four wicket and took India on the brink of a win. But bad light played it’s part once again as the contest, which was turning out to be thrilling one ultimately ended in a draw as Sri Lanka ended their innings at 75/7.
On India’s batting collapse on the first days, Kohli said, “The conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the backfoot on day one and day two.”
Former Indian skipper and CAB president Sourav Ganguly praised Kohli after this magnificent innings and said that the Delhi lad was right up there with legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
While speaking to India Today, he said, “If Virat would have got out today then this game could have gone either way because this wicket had enough for the seamers to get wickets even on Day 5 as Indian bowlers showed. He is a fantastic player, I have seen Gavaskar, I have seen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and this man (Kohli) is right up there with everyone and is just a fantastic cricketer.”
But the 45-year-old felt that it was too early to compare Kohli with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
“It’s too early to compare him with Sachin. He still has to make 50 more centuries. But the way he is going, he will make many more such hundreds,” he said, after the Kolkata Test ended in a draw.
Kohli moves up to fifth in ICC Test rankings; Jadeja slips to three
After the stylish century at the Eden Gardens just a day ago, Kohli has climbed up the ladder to be at the fifth position in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen. But left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who failed to get a single wicket in the first Test match, has slipped to the third position in the Test bowlers’ rankings.
Nonetheless, he continues to remain at the second position in the all-rounder’s list, where Ravichandran Ashwin holds the fourth spot.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar- India’s star with the ball in the Test and also the Man of the match, jumped up eight places to attain a career-best 29th ranking while Mohammad Shami, who ably assisted him with six wickets in two innings gained one place to move to the 18th position.