Sourav Ganguly brands Virat Kohli as a terrific advertisement for the game of Cricket
Reacting to Virat Kohli’s epic knock of 200 against the West Indies during the first innings of the Antigua Test on Friday, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly spoke in awe of the 26-year-old who he termed as a special cricketer and a fantastic advertisement for the game.
"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 till 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," Ganguly said.
"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," the 44-year-old added.
With his knock yesterday, not only did Kohli register his maiden first-class double century, he also became the first Indian skipper to score a double century in Tests overseas. Reacting to suggestions that Kohli’s knock bore resemblance to Ganguly’s knock of 144 against Australia during the first innings of the Brisbane Test during the historic 2003/04 series between India and Australia which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the series which India drew 1-1, the man himself said both knocks cannot be compared.
“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 “ listen, if I can get it then rest can as well," the former Indian skipper said.
Ganguly also praised Kohli for his aggressive approach that helped India get their run rate up after making a slow start to their innings while also losing Murali Vijay in the process.
"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 sports is. You know you have to find different ways of scoring runs," he said.
Ganguly backed Kohli to continue his impressive run of form which has now carried over to the Test format as well and believes West Indies could find themselves scratching their heads looking for ways to get rid of Kohli.
"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," Ganguly said.