India batter Virat Kohli has said that he never thought that he will be able to play 100 Tests and termed the journey “really long”.
As India take on Sri Lanka in the first Test of the two-match series, batter Virat Kohli will achieve the milestone of playing 100 matches in the longest format. “I honestly never thought that I will play 100 Tests, it has been a long journey. Played a lot of cricket over the course of these 100 Tests, a lot of international cricket and I am just grateful that I have been able to play these 100 Tests. God has been kind, I have worked really hard on my fitness. It is a big moment for me, my family and my coach. It is a very special moment,” Kohli said in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of BCCI.
“I never grew up thinking that I have to score small runs, the idea was to score big runs. I scored a lot of double hundreds in junior cricket. My idea was to bat long and I enjoyed doing that. These things took a lot out of you and it revealed your true character. Test cricket needed to stay alive, for me, this is real cricket,” he added.
Kohli was slated to play his 100th Test during the South Africa series earlier this year, but as fate has it, he will reach the milestone in India itself with a 50 per cent crowd in attendance at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.
Earlier this year, Kohli stepped down as the Test leader but it was not before the batter left a lasting legacy as a captain in the longest format of the game.
The 33-year-old, who is responsible for creating a crop of fast-bowlers that can help the side take 20 wickets in any condition, will now be hoping to have a good run with the bat in all three formats of the game.
Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli quickly cemented his position as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.
The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter register seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain. It was under Kohli’s leadership that India was crowned the number one Test team in the ICC Rankings for a continuous period of 42 months from October 2016 till early March 2020.
He had last scored a century in international cricket in 2019 against Bangladesh and since then, the entire nation is waiting eagerly for the batter to register his 71st ton.
One can just hope he registers the milestone in his 100th Test and if it does happen, it would mean that the stars truly aligned for a once in a generation batter.