‘Virat Kohli is a terrific advertisement for the game’: Sourav Ganguly
Virat Kohli kissed the turf at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium, a stadium built by the Chinese government and named after great Vivian Richards, in Antigua after scoring his maiden double ton.
The legend himself was present at the commentary box when Virat was kissing the turf of the stadium. Before the start of the series Viv had a chat with the Indian cricket team and that proved fruitful for the Indian skipper.
Now former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly hailed the India’s current Test batsman Virat Kohli, who always adore Ganguly as his role model.
“He (Kohli) is a passionate person, he loves this game, loves to be on the winning team and he loves giving kisses on the cricket ground. It doesn’t matter where he does it, whether it is on the pitch or his bat or whether it is for his fellow teammates, he wears his heart on his sleeve. He is a terrific advertisement for the game, a huge brand for cricket and he is the future of Indian cricket” says former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.
Ganguly in his 12 years old career played as a captain for four years. During his captaincy days, he used to lead his from the front. Virat’s double hundred resembles with Ganguly’s 144 runs innings against Australia in Brisbane Test in 2003. His hundred helped India to not only save the Test but also helped to draw it against Steve Waugh’s mighty Australia on their den.
Now Virat’s double hundred set the tone of the four-match series.
“I did not get a double hundred so this is different, he has got a double hundred in Antigua in the 1st Test and a double hundred is different. Yes it helps when the captain gets a hundred in the 1st Test of a series, it sets the tone, it actually sends a message to the dressing room that listens if I can get it then rest can as well,” adds the former Indian skipper.
Virat ahs become the first Indian skipper to score a double hundred in Test cricket in overseas conditions. Virat played only 283 balls and stroke 24 boundaries. The pace of Virat’s innings impressed Ganguly, “The quicker you get runs it is good for the team. Look at how Virender Sehwag played Test cricket and the number of runs he got at a pace, that always helps. I don’t think Kohli looked at scoring runs at that pace, he just kept playing and the runs kept on coming. There will be days when he will have to grind because that is the way the sport is. You know you have to find different ways of scoring runs.”
In Test, Virat is yet to emulate his success in limited over cricket. When Virat has had 50 plus average in ODI and T20 his Test average looks like ordinary. Ganguly also said comparison with Viv and Sachin is understandable but Virat’s passion sets him apart, “I don’t compare cricketers, I don’t compare eras but Virat Kohli is special. Yes, he is an emotional person. You will see emotions on the field with Virat Kohli until the time he plays cricket and that is the reason he brings back people to the ground. That is the reason he brings people like us to watch him play when he walks out to bat or when he walks out to field. You just get the feeling that he wants to win matches be it Tests, T20s or ODIs.”
This year, since India’s tour of Australia in January, Virat has been playing tremendous cricket. He was adjudged player of the tournament in WT20 and broke all records in IPL as he scored 972 runs in 16 matches.
Now Virat’s carried his momentum in Test cricket too, “He has been in great touch over the last 2 years and is in, as you say, a purple patch. He has got runs all over the world, take Australia, versus South Africa, take IPL, in India and now in the West Indies. This may not be the best attack in the world that will give you sleepless nights in the Caribbean but you still have to get these runs and he is phenomenal. His feet movement, his confidence, his fitness is something to look forward to. He is a special player, it is a 4-Test series and this was just the first innings. I guess he will make these West Indian bowlers toil very hard right throughout.”
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