Batting great Sunil Gavaskar walked down the memory lane to recall the Test debut of former India captain Virat Kohli who is all set to play his 100th Test match on Friday against Sri Lanka in Mohali. Kohli made his Test debut against West Indies in 2011 at Kingston, the India batter struggled to score runs on his first match and was dismissed on just 4 and 15. He faced a difficult challenge against Fidel Edwards who was amongst the fastest bowlers at that time.
Gavaskar recalled Kohli’s Test debut and remembered that Edwards stared at debutant after bowling him a bouncer and in return, he blew kisses to him through the helmet. The legendary cricketer feels that the incident showed the self-belief and guts Kohli had even at that young age.
“It has been a fabulous journey. Even in his debut series, he wasn’t afraid to take on the opposition. I don’t know how many of you recall when way back in 2011, he made his Test debut. Fidel Edwards was bouncing him and he was ducking them. After that Edwards stared at Virat and Kohli in return was blowing kisses to him through the grille of the helmet. For a newcomer to be dealing that way with one of the fastest bowlers in the world – Fidel Edwards was quick. He was 145 plus – that told you about the young man’s belief in himself and the guts that he showed. Since then, it has only been an upward curve as far as his career in concerned,” said Gavaskar while speaking to Sports Today.
Gavaskar further heaped huge praise on Kohli’s consistency as the batting legend feels even if he has not scored a century in recent times but the 33-year-old has been scoring 70s, 80’s at regular intervals.
“I think his overall consistency has been remarkable. He just had a blip in 2014 but apart from that he hasn’t had a bad series at all which is remarkable. Because he hasn’t had ordinary series. He has had an excellent, very good or good series. Although he hasn’t got hundreds of late, he has got 70s and 80s,” he added.
The 72-year-old further supported BCCI’s plan to allow 50 per cent spectators for Kohli’s historic Test match.
“I would think that the situation changed. It was a question of the general interest of the majority. We have seen that despite allowing crowds, hardly anybody is wearing masks. So we are not taking care. And that was the worry when there was news that Mohali had some cases. That is why perhaps there were no crowds allowed. But now it seems that the situation has improved and 50 percent more people are coming in. This is fantastic news because any performer wants to perform in front of the crowd, where he will be appreciated,” he said.
So far in 99 Tests, Kohli has scored 7962 runs which include 27 centuries and 28 half-centuries. In his 100th Test, Kohli will also look to enter the 8k run club and try to break the century jinx which has been holding him back in the past couple of years.