IND vs PAK: Virat Kohli plays 100th T20I, wishes pour in

As the world waits with bated breath for Virat Kohli to get his 71st international century, Kohli added a 100 of a different kind on Sunday against Pakistan when he completed a century of T20I appearances. Kohli is second player in world cricket after Ross Taylor to complete a century of international appearances.

As Kohli prepares to take the field against the Men in Green, wishes poured in from all corners for this momentous achievement. Harbhajan Singh tweeted, “Sending my Best Wishes @imVkohli for your 100th T20 for Team India. Huge achievement for you. Play with great spirit and I am sure you will make this match memorable for all of us.”

In the match, India won the toss and opted to field against Pakistan. Dinesh Karthik was picked ahead of Rishabh Pant in the playing eleven while Avesh Khan was picked as third pacer alongside Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah will be making his T20I debut.

Teammates Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya also sent in their wishes for Kohli and spoke about what he’s done for the India cricket team and their most cherished memories of him.

Rohit Sharma said “We know that his hunger and passion is unmatchable, every time you see him he come out with different energy all the time and you know it’s definitely not easy to play 100 games for India across formats. So I would firstly congratulate him for that, it’s a massive achievement, every time we see him, his game is at a different level, I hope Asia Cup will be no different, massive player for us without a doubt. I hope you know, he’s at his best for the team’s sake.”

Suryakumar Yadav said “100 T20 internationals, I think it’s another milestone for you Virat Bhai. I feel the way you are on the field, be the same way, electrifying and spread as much knowledge as possible for everyone. I love to see you on the ground as you are, and we learn a lot. Just be yourself and enjoy.”

Ravindra Jadeja who has played with Kohli since their formative days was all praise for Kohli and said “I remember when we were playing Under-19, since then his dedication and hunger for runs is still fresh or in my opinion even more, because from Under-19 till now, his goal has been to always work hard to get runs, improve his fitness, game, and more.”

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar said “I think his legacy is not only to make runs but also how he approaches the game. I think many people notice how he is pushing himself and how he wants to change the game.”

KL Rahul spoke about how Kohli’s attitude has rubbed off on the rest of the team and helped them improve their own game, “He is the first Indian to do this, he’s obviously been our leader for a long time and he’s guided this young Indian team to where we are today and made us realise that we can always push the boundaries, push the barrier and try and be better in terms of skill”, he said.

Rishabh Pant gave a testament of Kohli’s longevity and how players from the team aspire to achieve the same milestones as him “One of the biggest things is in all three formats if any player represents India for 100 matches, and Virat has played 400, 600 matches. So he’s amazing as a cricketer and you hope that even your career becomes like his in life, and play 400, 500 matches for India, win so many matches for India, his legacy of winning so many matches for India over a period of time, so looking at his career us players get inspired, that we can be somewhere near his level at the end,” he said.

Hardik Pandya said “To play that amount of cricket itself is a big achievement, leave the record its fine, people will remember this feat for the longest time since I don’t see in the near future this happening very often, people playing two, three formats and you know playing 100 games each. If someone has the passion why not, but with the cricket we are playing it’ll be difficult so people will remember this for a long time and yeah that’s it, his record speaks for itself.“

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