Sourav Ganguly : Virat Kohli right up there with Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar

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Sourav Ganguly : Virat Kohli right up there with Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar

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SportsCafe Desk


After watching Virat Kohli’s 50th century, Sourav Ganguly couldn’t resist himself from praising the Indian skipper stating that he is at par with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. Ganguly has also warned the Lankans to pull up their socks in order to come close to beating India.

Yesterday, Virat Kohli became the eighth batsman overall and second Indian, after Sachin Tendulkar, to score 50 international hundreds. The Indian skipper touched the milestone in his 348th innings - the joint-quickest along with Hashim Amla, who got there in February 2017. After watching the sublime innings from few yards away, Ganguly heaped praise on the Indian skipper and put him in the same bracket with the former greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid.

"His ability and hunger, he is a remarkable player. What a knock he played today, I was watching him on TV, halfway down I was on the ground and he just accelerated. He's that one player, once he gets past 50, he makes sure he scores a 100. That's the difference between him and the rest. It's great to watch his intensity. The best thing about Virat Kohli is how many times have we seen him turn on a cricket field half ready? He is always up and always at the top of his game,” Ganguly told India Today.

"It was a magnificent hundred, looking at the celebrations after. It just spoke volumes. If he would have got out early today, the game could have gone either way. This wicket has enough for seamers to take wickets on day five as well. He is a fantastic player, I have seen Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Dravid and this man, right up there with everyone.”

Kohli’s 18th Test century not only helped India ride out a difficult phase but also put them in a position to register an unlikely win. On the back of his hundred, India declared at 352/8, setting Sri Lanka an improbable target of 231 in a maximum of 47 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka were reduced to 75/7 before bad light ended the game in a draw. The dramatic turnaround of fortunes once again raised questions on Sri Lanka’s ability in the longest format of the game and the former Indian skipper warned the island nation against the same.

"Phenomenal. Like I said if Virat would have got out cheaply today, this game could have gone Sri Lankans' way because the margin of the lead wouldn't have been that much and there would have been more overs for Sri Lanka to chase the score. He also put pressure back at Sri Lanka, it's a good message for Sri Lanka that we were a little behind in the first innings but we are good enough to come back in the second and beat you. India has done this many a times in the home season.

"It's a strong message for Sri Lanka for the next two Test matches that we are a very hard team to beat. There's a lot of difference between the two sides and Sri Lankan attack looked so good because they got a lot of purchase from this pitch but on flat tracks, this fast bowling attack won't be able to create much impression," Ganguly expressed.

When India were pushing hard for a victory on the final day, they were put off by Niroshan Dickwella's time-wasting tactics as the Lankan wicket-keeper tried to divert the Indian pacers, over and over again. But Ganguly believes that what Sri Lanka did was a part of the game and they shouldn't be blamed for the same. 

"That's pretty normal. Sri Lanka were actually losing this Test match, they were seven down and four more overs India would have won this. So it was quite natural because every day 4.15 in this part of the world, it starts getting dark and the drop is very quick so from that point of view, I think the Sri Lankans did what they had to. Probably any other team would have done the same thing. You cannot blame the Sri Lankans. I don't knwo if it's right or wrong but it's part and parcel of the game. But they have to be careful because they are going to Nagpur, where it is going to be a 5-day game and they are going to be up against a top quality side."

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