Dravid, commentators shower praise as Kohli plays 500th match


Virat Kohli meets legendary West Indies cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers and his wife at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown (ANI)

Sixth in the list of most runs scored and behind only Sachin Tendulkar in centuries, Kohli is the fourth Indian to achieve the milestone of 500 matches

Our Bureau
Roseau (Dominica)

Virat Kohli began to play his 500th international match during the second Test match against the West Indies on Thursday. Sixth in the list of most runs scored and behind only Sachin Tendulkar in international centuries, Kohli is the fourth Indian to achieve the milestone of 500 matches.

Kohli scored 76 runs off 182 balls while smashing five boundaries as India defeated West Indies by an innings and 141 runs in the 1st Test match.

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra lauded Kohli’s remarkable milestone and termed him the brand ambassador of the game. “Virat Kohli’s dedication for the game is very evident and in fact defines him. The way he has lived his life like a monk where it has only been about cricket. That is the reason he has reached where he is today and is a brand ambassador of the beautiful game. We are all thankful for what he has done for Indian cricket and for cricket in general,” said Aakash Chopra on JioCinema.

Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha too praised him and termed it as on JioCinema “One more feather in the cap’ moment, “This is a very special achievement. Very few get to achieve this feat. I hope this acts as a motivation for him and he keeps playing good knocks for the country and continues with his good form.”

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer lauded Kohli’s longevity and said on JioCinema, “Not everybody gets to play 500 matches and his longevity is praiseworthy – the way he has kept himself fit and consistent and continued playing well and scored 75 centuries in international cricket. It signifies his discipline, dedication, and determination. He has played 500 matches and there is a lot more cricket left in him. He is a role model for all cricketers across the world.”

India coach Rahul Dravid used the eve of Virat Kohli’s 500th international appearance to reveal what makes the former skipper so good at his craft and predict what the future holds for the legendary batter.

And while Dravid admitted he was in awe of the achievement by Kohli to reach the 500-game milestone, the India coach does not see the former skipper slowing down any time soon as he continues to maintain that famous work rate the sets him apart from many of his peers.

“I think it is fantastic and he (Kohli) is an inspiration to so many players within this team and to so many boys and girls back home in India,” Dravid said ahead of the second Test against the West Indies. His numbers and his stats speak for themselves and his performances are all there in the (record) books,” said Indian head coach.

“For me what has been great to see first-hand is the effort and the willing and the work he puts in behind the scenes when no one is watching and that is reflected in the fact that he has been able to play 500 games. He is still going very strong, is very fit and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the game in spite of playing 500 games and being around here for 12 or 13 years now,” added Dravid.

Dravid – who is one of only three other India players to have made more than 500 international appearances – said Kohli had made many sacrifices throughout his career and that was a major reason why he has been able to stay at the top of his game for so long. “It is truly fantastic and it has not come easy. It has come because of a lot of hard work behind the scenes and a lot of sacrifices he has made throughout his career and is willing to continue to make,” Dravid noted.

“That is something that is great for a coach as you can see a lot of the young players look at that and be inspired by that and you don’t need to say anything. Just by the way you conduct yourself and the way you carry yourself, the way you go about practices, the way you go about your fitness, it becomes an inspiration for a lot of young players that are coming through the system and hopefully they are inspired by Virat. Longevity comes with a lot of hard work, discipline and adaptability and he has shown all of that, so long may it continue, ” added Dravid.

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