by IANS |
Dubai, Aug 28 (IANS) Captain Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K.L Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya have sent in their wishes for talismanic batter Virat Kohli ahead of his 100th T20I match when India face arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup Group A opening match on Sunday.
Apart from Sund'y's match marking Koh'i's return to international cricket action after the tour of England ended on July 17, it will also see him become only the second m'n's player after New Zealand's Ross Taylor to clock 100 appearances in all three formats of international cricket.
"We know that his hunger and passion are unmatchable, every time you see him he comes out with different energy all the time and you kno' it's definitely not easy to play 100 games for India across formats. So I would firstly congratulate him for that' it's a massive achievement, every time we see him, his game is at a different level, I hope Asia Cup will be no different, massive player for us without a doubt. I hope you know' he's at his best for the 'eam's sake," said Rohit on Star Sports show 'Follow The Blues'.
In 99 T20I matches, Kohli' has scored 3308 runs at a rich average of 50.12 and strike rate of 137.66. Though he is yet to get a century in the T20I format, Kohli has 30 fifties against his name. To play a hundred games in a particular format of international cricket, one needs to be performing consistently at the highest level. In'Kohli's case, who made his T20I debut in June 2010 against Zimbabwe, it is persistent efforts and evolving his T20I game for 12 years.
"100 T20 internationals, I 'hink it's another milestone for you Virat Bhai. I feel the way you are on the field, be the same way, electrifying and spreading as much knowledge as possible. I love to see you on the ground as you are, and we learn a lot. Just be yourself and enjoy," said Suryakumar.
Jadeja, who has played with Kohli since their formative days, including the victorious 20'8 U19 Men's World Cup, was all praise for Kohli. "I remember when we were playing Under-19, since then his dedication and hunger for runs is still fresh or in my opinion even more because from Under-19 till now, his goal has been to always work hard to get runs, improve his fitness, game, and more."
"I think his legacy is not only to make runs but also how he approaches the game. I think many people notice how he is pushing himself and how he wants to change the game," added Bhvuneshwar.
Rahul further spoke about how Kohll's attitude has rubbed off on the rest of the team and helped them improve their own game. "He is the first Indian 'o do this, he's obviously been our leader for a lo'g time and he's guided this young Indian team to where we are today and made us realise that we can always push the boundaries, push the barrier and try and be better in terms of skill."
Pant paid tribute to Kohli's longevity and elaborated on how players from the team aspire to achieve the same milestones as him. "One of the biggest things is in all three formats if any player represents India for 100 matches, and Virat has played 400-600 matches."
"So he's amazing as a cricketer and you hope that even your career becomes like his in life, and play 400, 500 matches for India, win so many matches for India, his legacy of winning so many matches for India over a period of time, so looking at his career us players get inspired, that we can be somewhere near his level at the end."
Kohli, who hasn't scored a century in international cricket since November 2019, has played only four T20Is this year. He made only 341 runs from 16 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2022, averaging 22.73 and at a strike rate of 115.99.
As he returns to the Indian team, he faces the challeng' of adapting to India's new, ultra-attacking approach with the bat and finding form ahead of the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.
"To play that amount of cricket itself is a big achievement, leave the record it's fine, people will remember this feat for the longest time since I don't see in the near future this happening very often, people playing two, three formats and you know playing 100 games each."
"If someone has the passion why not, but with the cricket, we are playing it'll be difficult so people will remember this for a long time and yeah that's it, his record speaks for itself," concluded Pandya.