In his milestone game, Virat Kohli stands on the brink of a first-of-its-kind record in international cricket. The former Indian captain is presently part of his 500th international game, the 10th in world cricket and third from India to scale the three-figure mark, in the 2nd Test match against West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad. And he stands 13 runs short of being the first ever cricketer to score a century in his 500th international match after finishing Day 1 of the match unbeaten on 87 which helped revive India to 288 for four.
With Kohli on brink of adding another feather to his crammed hat, West Indies legend Courtney Walsh showered the 34-year-old with towering praise comparing him to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistan great Javed Miandad. The former West Indies fast bowler admitted that Kohli, who reminds him of Miandad and Graham Gooch of England, definitley stands among the top-5 greatest cricketers of all time, but put him right behind Sachin among India greats.
“Well, as an Indian great, I would rate him just behind Sachin. Sachin is one of the greatest I have seen and played against,” Walsh told JioCinema.
“Brian Lara, Viv Richards, I will put them up from a West Indian point of view. Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh. Two gentleman I played when I was a youngster. There are also Graham Gooch from England and Javed Miandad, against whom I probably did not as much games, but the value they put on their wickets reminded me of Virat Kohli as well. He doesn’t want to go. So I will definitely have him in my top 4, top 5 greatest cricketers I have seen,” he added.
The unbeaten 87 was Kohli’ second successive fifty-plus score on the tour having notched up 76 in India’s innings victory in Dominica last week against West Indies which kicked off the team’s campaign in the third WTC cycle in top-class fashion.
Walsh also recalled one of his chats with Kohli back when he was the selector of West Indies, opining that he saw the greatness in him even at his young age. Kohli later went on scale new heights in his illustrious career where he played 111 Tests for India scoring over 9500 runs, along with 274 appearances in ODIs and 115 in T20Is, notching up 12898 and 4008 runs respectively.
“He has got the passion for the game, he wants to leave a mark in the game. I remember having a conversation with him when I was the selector for West Indies, and he was the captain. We were having a chat. You could tell that he wants to be the best. He was willing to seek out advice from anyone that will help to do so. I am not surprised by the achievement. The passion he has and the drive he has to be the top 3, top 5 in everything he does,” Walsh said.