After wrapping the T20Is on an emphatic note, Rohit Sharma and his unit will look to carry forward the momentum when India take on Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series, starting from March 4 in Mohali. The tie will also mark Virat Kohli’s 100th match in the longer formats and the former India captain will hope to turn the occasion into a memorable one.
As Kohli prepares for the landmark occasion, the focus has been on the former India captain. The Test, which was initially decided to play behind closed doors, will now see a 50 per cent crowd thronging the stadium, as many will anticipate a big knock from the 33-year-old on the special occasion.
Kohli’s journey ever since his debut against West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica back in 2011 has been a remarkable one. Batting at a healthy average of 50.39, he has went on to accumulate 7962 runs from 99 matches.
Sharing his views on Kohli’s stellar Test career ahead of his landmark match, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar rated it to be a fabulous one. He also recalled Kohli’s antics from his debut Test, which reflected the amount of courage the right-handed batter possessed.
“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.
The batting legend also supported BCCI’s idea of welcoming 50 per cent crowd to grace the venue.
“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.
Following the conclusion of the first Test, the teams will then travel to Bengaluru for the second and final match of the series, which is scheduled to be played on March 12-16.