By India Today Sports Desk: Legendary West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh said he would rate Virat Kohli as highly as one of the greatest batters of all-time that he has witnessed. Walsh said he would rate Kohli only behind Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to greatness in the context of Indian cricket.
Virat Kohli marked a significant milestone in his illustrious career. On July 20, 2023, he played his 500th international match during the second Test against the West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Kohli celebrated the landmark Test by hitting a gritty 87 not out that helped India post 288 for 4 on the opening day at the Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday. Kohli steered India out of trouble after they lost 4 wickets in the second session, including that of Rohit Sharma (80) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (57). Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja added an unbeaten 106-run stand for the 5th wicket.
“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 youngsterâæ Graham Gooch from England and Javed Miandad, who 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.
In the recent first Test win in Dominica, Kohli showcased his grit and determination. He scored a solid 76 off 182 balls, contributing significantly to India’s victory by an innings and 141 runs. Despite not being one of his more fluent knocks, it was a testament to his ability to grind out runs when needed.
WALSH RECALLS CHAT WITH KOHLI
Kohli’s 500th international match was also the 100th Test between India and West Indies, marking another significant milestone in cricket history. The former captain, playing his 111th Test match for India, looked to build on his previous performance.
Over the years, Kohli has proven himself to be a formidable force in all formats of the game. His career statistics are impressive, with over 9500 runs from 111 Tests, 12898 from 274 ODIs, and 4008 from 115 T20Is. These numbers not only reflect his consistency but also his adaptability across different formats and conditions.
Walsh recalled an interaction with Virat Kohli during his time as the selector of West Indies, saying he was able to spot the eagerness of the young Indian batter to learn from the legends of the game.
“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.