West Indies vs India 2016: Viv Richards congratulates Virat Kohli for his 200
Speaking to bcci.tv in an exclusive interview at the end of the second day’s play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, the West Indies legend himself, after whom the stadium has been named, heaped lavish praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli after the latter scored a magnificent double century to put the visitors firmly in command of the opening match in the four-Test series.
Not only did Kohli register his maiden first-class hundred, it was also the first overseas double century by an Indian skipper in Test cricket as the 26-year-old continued his fine run of form from the shorter formats of the game. Richards, who interacted with Kohli and a few other Indian players on the eve of the Test match, spoke of his delight at witnessing the historic knock in person.
“I can remember when I met him at the hotel where they were staying that I said ‘good luck’ but I didn’t think he would take it this far,” quipped the West Indies legend reflecting on Kohli’s double century. “I think it is a formidable task in terms of what he has achieved.”
Though a little pained that the knock came against the West Indies, Richards said that as a batsman himself, it was a classy knock from the Indian skipper that had to be appreciated. According to him, the knock deserves special recognition because of the fact that it was achieved away from Kohli’s home conditions.
“It is always an achievement for you as an individual to go into someone else’s backyard and accomplish victory because we all know what we can be achieved at home. But when you go away, it is tougher conditions and so, it is more enjoyable. For him (Kohli) to achieve his first double hundred away from home here at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium in Antigua must have been quite enjoyable,” Richards said.
Considering himself ‘lucky’ to have witnessed Kohli scoring his first-ever double hundred, Richards feels the Indian skipper’s will power separates him from his competitors.
“I have always said that what sets apart Virat Kohli from the rest is his will and appetite to perform. Talent is as good as any, but sometimes we see talent fall by the wayside but we have seen Kohli maximizing his talent and take it to the next level because of believing and having the desire to succeed,” Richards said.