Ganguly: Someone of Virat's calibre will get a hundred soon

In a chat with Sportstar, the former India captain spoke about Kohli’s milestone match, the ongoing 50-over Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and more.

Virat Kohli looked in control before being clean bowled by Lasith Embuldeniya for 45.   -  SPORTZPICS

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly was in attendance in Mohali, where Virat Kohli played his 100th Test on Friday.

Kohli was felicitated before the start of the first day's play against Sri Lanka, with head coach Rahul Dravid presenting him a special cap.

It brought back memories for Ganguly, who traveled to Chandigarh from London in the early hours of Friday. Having played 113 Tests for India, Ganguly understands what a cricketer goes through in such milestone games. In a chat with Sportstar, the former India captain spoke about Kohli’s milestone match, the ongoing 50-over Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and more.

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What are your thoughts on Kohli’s 100th Test?

It is a big moment. 100 Test matches is a lot of cricket, and he deserves it. He has earned his 100 Test match cap and he is a fantastic player. He has done every bit of it for Indian cricket.

Kohli got off to a good start before being dismissed by Lasith Embuldeniya for 45. What did you make of Virat's innings?

He looked good. He may not have got his hundred but he has looked very good as a player. It is hard for me to say what is in his mind, but someone of his calibre will get one (a hundred) soon.

A cricketer often goes through a lean patch. Even you had faced such a phase in your playing days. How can one overcome it? 

I would not call it a lean phase. Maybe, he has not got a hundred, but I would not certainly call it a lean phase.

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Many believe that quitting captaincy will help Kohli as he can now just focus on his game and play freely. What are your thoughts? 

Virat, as a captain, played very well. Even when he was a captain, he did remarkably well as a batter too. I did not see it as a problem for him. I don’t see any difference now either. He was a good player then also, and if it is believed that less pressure will make him bat better, it will make him bat better. As a captain, he has done fantastically well.

What are your thoughts on this new beginning for Indian cricket - with new captain Rohit Sharma, Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid around?

It is a great unit. There are a lot of tournaments every year, and I am sure they will do well. They are a fantastic side.

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Moving on from Virat Kohli, India’s women’s team starts its World Cup journey on Sunday against Pakistan. Having featured in several India-Pakistan fixtures in your career, what are your thoughts ahead of the big game?

I wish the women cricketers all the best. They have started playing well and won the last game against New Zealand and did well in the warm-up game against South Africa, so they have started winning. The good thing is Harmanpreet (Kaur) has started scoring runs and that is very important for the Indian women’s team. It is about the World Cup, and not just about one team. I am sure they will play well. They were in the final of the last 50-over World Cup in England and the final of the last T20 World Cup in Australia a couple of years ago. So, they have a good record in world tournaments.

In a few weeks, the IPL will also be held in India. How do you see the brand growing over the years?

IPL is a huge brand. It has become bigger and bigger with time and just keeps growing. Another season is coming this year, and it is good that it will be back in India. It will be a really good thing for the league. In 2008, it was a beginning, but the craze was tremendous. The matches would go full house, and over the years, it has only got bigger and bigger.

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