Mohali: Legendary India batter Sachin Tendulkar has congratulated Virat Kohli ahead of his 100th test appearance, saying that he made an immense contribution to Indian cricket by motivating the next generation.
"Congratulations on your 100th Test appearance. What a terrific achievement! It has been fantastic watching you over the years. Numbers will always have their own story, but your real strength is that you have been able to motivate the next generation and this is your immense contribution to the Indian cricket," said Tendulkar in a video posted by BCCI on Twitter.
Tendulkar recalled that the first time the senior Indian Cricket Team had heard of Kohli was in 2008 in Australia. "Your team was playing the U-19 World Cup in Indonesia. There were certain players in the team discussing you that this is the one player to watch out for. Acchi batting kar leta hai," he added.
The legendary batter said that during their time together as cricketers, it was evident to him that Kohli was very good at learning things and wanted to keep working on his game to improve for the better.
Recalling an anecdote from 2011 that motivated Kohli to take fitness seriously, Tendulkar said that he had left no stone unturned in that regard and has been a terrific role model for all for his fitness.
"I remember that we were at Canberra in Australia in 2011. There was a Thai restaurant there where would have some nice meals. An evening after a heavy meal, you said 'Pajji bahut hogya, ab fitness par dhyan dena hai'. I have to say that you have left no stone unturned and have been a terrific role model as far as fitness is concerned. Cricketing numbers are a different thing and are for the world to see, but that particular evening I remember that you said that and achieved your goal," he said.
The former India skipper will now join the company of legendary players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar etc who represented the country in 100 Tests or more.
Kohli's 100th Test match will not be played behind closed doors. India will play the first of the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in Mohali. The second Test match will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Kohli will be playing his 100th Test match under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma who will be leading India for the first time in Test matches. Kohli has amassed 7,962 runs in 99 Tests at an average of 50.39 with 27 tons to his name. ANI