Virat Kohli might still have some way to go before catching up with Sachin Tendulkar’s run-haul and centuries but Sourav Ganguly believes that the India skipper is now on par with the legendary former batsman when it comes to ODI cricket.
Kohli broke Tendulkar’s record to become the fastest batsman in history to register 10,000 runs in the format when he slammed an unbeaten 157 in the tied second ODI against the West Indies on Wednesday.
Former India skipper Ganguly was at a ‘loss of words’ when it came to describing Kohli’s performance in what was his 37th ODI ton.
“I am at a loss of words to describe Virat Kohli’s performance. The wicket was different, conditions were different, but he changed the entire game. It was a fantastic knock. I don’t have enough words,” Ganguly told IndiaTV.
“I have closely seen Sachin Tendulkar play and he has scored 49 ODI hundreds and 100 tons overall but this man is no less than anybody. Kohli has now scored 37 ODI hundreds and he is not too far behind Tendulkar’s record. It is important to see that Kohli can play in all conditions and to change the game in all conditions. He carries the entire team on his shoulders,” he added.
Kohli has enjoyed a prolific 2018 with the bat in ODIs as he brought up a 1,000 calendar runs in just 11 innings on Wednesday at a whopping average of nearly 150. The right-hander has now scored five centuries and three fifties in the format this year alone.
Ganguly was left in no doubt that the 29-year-old is now on the same footing as all-time great Tendulkar.
“He (Kohli) is a master. There’s no doubt now that Kohli is on par with Sachin Tendulkar in ODI cricket. I will not compare Kohli with Tendulkar… both are very big players,” he said.
“However, Kohli has certainly taken this generation of cricket to a different level. His consistency and intensity is remarkable. There’s no stopping him. Whenever he comes on to the field, it feels as if it’s his first time.”
Bravo’s last appearance in West Indies colours came in September, 2016 in a T20 clash against Pakistan. Since making his international debut in 2004, the all-rounder has gone on to represent the Windies in 40 Tests, 164 ODIs and 66 T20s.
He was instrumental in both of West Indies’ World Twenty20 triumphs in 2012 and 2016.
“Today I want to confirm to the cricket world that I have officially retired from international cricket in all formats of the game. After 14 years when I made my debut for the West Indies, I still remember that moment I received the maroon cap before walking onto the Lords Cricket Ground against England in July 2004. The enthusiasm and passion I felt then, I have kept with me throughout my career,” Bravo said.
“I thank the many loyal fans who continue to support my journey and who recognize my efforts on and off the field. I am extremely fortunate to have a career that has taken me across the globe into the most prestigious dressing rooms sharing experiences with all the recent legends of this glorious game.
“I will continue my professional career as a cricketer and entertain.”
In his 164 ODIs for the Windies, Bravo picked up 199 wickets and scored 2,968 runs.
In T20I cricket, the all-rounder registered 1,142 runs while picking up 52 wickets in 66 matches.
January’s ‘Black Clash’ charity cricket match between New Zealand’s ruby and cricket stars just got bigger with three more All Blacks stars in the form of the Barrett brothers and Aaron Smith throwing their hats into the ring.
Brothers Beauden and Jordie Barrett, and Smith join the likes of Richie McCaw, Kieran Read and Israel Dagg in signing up for star-studded All Blacks squad which will take on a collection of former Blackcaps stars in the T20 clash to be held in Christchurch.
Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Chris Harris are some of the names who will turn out for the Blackcaps in the charity clash. The T20 match is being held to raise money for both the sports’ welfare programmes.
21-year-old Jordie Barrett boasts of an impressive cricketing pedigree having played for the Central Districts in the U19 level while also representing Taranki in New Zealand’s Hawke Cup.
“Rugby does tend to get in the way of cricket but I’m always keen for a hit in the summer when I get the chance,” Jordie told TVNZ.
“The match is a really great concept and I can’t wait to be a part of it. It’ll be pretty cool to play alongside a bunch of my rugby mates in another sport. I know some of them talk a good game so I guess it’s now time for them to put their money where their mouths are,” he added.
Smith, meanwhile, is excited about the chance to rub shoulders with former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum.
“I’ve always loved cricket. The thing I’m most excited about is the chance to meet Brendon McCullum. He’s a real hero of mine and now I’ll get the chance to see him smack a ball close -up. Hopefully just not off my bowling,” he said.
The All Blacks are being coached by Sir Graham Henry while Fleming will turn out in a player-cum-coach role for the Blackcaps. The charity T20 clash will be held on January 25, 2019.