When Virat Kohli takes the field against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Mohali on Friday, he will become only the 12th Indian cricketer to play 100 Test matches. Although the former captain admits to never quite imagining that he would end up playing as many Test matches, several in the cricketing fraternity believe that his work ethic and dedication to the game since his early days enabled him to reach this milestone.

“It has been a long journey. Grateful that I’ve been able to make it to 100 (Test matches),” said Kohli ahead of the landmark Test.

Here is a look at who’s saying what on the occasion of Virat Kohli’s 100th appearance in Test cricket:

Sachin Tendulkar

I remember the first time I heard about you was when we were in Australia in 2007 (2008). You guys were playing the U19 World Cup in Malaysia. That is when there were certain players in the team who were discussing about you. ‘This is one player to watch out for. Achhi batting kar raha hai (He is batting well).’

After that we played cricket together for India. Not for long, but whatever time we spent together, it was evident that you were good at learning things. You wanted to keep working on your game and continue getting better. To grasp things quickly was your strength and you continued that way. You have been a terrific role model as far as fitness is concerned obviously. 

But your real strength is that you have been able to motivate the next generation. That is your immense contribution to Indian cricket. It has been fantastic to watch you over the years. Congratulations on your 100th Test appearance for India, what a terrific achievement. I wish you many more happy cricketing years. Go out and do well.

— bcci.tv

Sunil Gavaskar

Rahul Dravid

It is not easy to play 100 Test matches. Test cricket is not easy. To be able to play one is great, to be able to play 100 is a fantastic achievement. It is an achievement Virat Kohli can be proud of.

When he played his first Test match, I was batting alongside him. It has been incredible to see how he has grown over the last 10 years or so. The way he has grown as a cricketer and a person. He has carried this team for a long time, been the captain for the last five or six years of the last 10 years he has played in. He has always delivered, averages over 50 in 100 Test matches. It is a great achievement for one of India’s greatest players. Just looking at his fitness and where he is, he has a lot more to go and I am sure it is not something that he will be satisfied with.

— bcci.tv

Sourav Ganguly

It’s a huge landmark in any cricketer’s career. Playing 100 Test matches is something you dream of when you start playing for your country. It’s a great moment for Virat, it’s a great moment for Indian cricket. I personally have been in that situation, playing 100 Test matches, and I realise how momentous and how humongous the occasion it is for any cricketer. Virat’s had a great journey. Starting 10-11 years ago and getting to where he has reached today is an exceptional achievement. On behalf of BCCI and also a former captain and cricketer who has played 100 Test matches and more, I wish him all the very best.

He has had a fantastic career and he is still got some time left to achieve greater milestones and I hope he continues doing that. Congratulations to him, his family, his coach and all those who were involved in his cricketing career.

— bcci.tv

Ishant Sharma

I think he is a legend. His numbers speak for him. Playing 100 Test matches in itself is a big thing. In the coming years, I don’t think a player who plays all three formats regularly will be able to achieve this feat. I have seen him since he was 17 years old and till date, I think he has done a fantastic job for the country and himself. 

— bcci.tv

Virender Sehwag

I did not associate myself with statistics too much when I made my debut for India. I just had one aim which was to become the first player from Delhi to play 100 Test matches. After me, even Ishant Sharma achieved this feat. And now, it is going to be Virat Kohli. 

Virat, this is a splendid achievement. I have seen you grow since your childhood. 

I watched him closely even when he was playing under me when I was captaining Delhi in Ranji (Trophy) and he has done tremendously for the country as a player and as a leader, setting new benchmarks. 

Around his fitness and amazing hunger for runs, he has built a great career for himself and won so many matches for India. Many congratulations on the landmark, Virat. May you have many more, all the very best. 

— bcci.tv

Dilip Vengsarkar 

I watched Virat for the first time in an Under 16 tournament when he played for Delhi schools at Calcutta and he didn’t score many runs but he was quite impressive. Later, he played  U 19 for Indian and did extremely well. They won the World Cup. The emerging player tournament was happening in Australia and I was chairman of the selection committee and we had picked U 23 boys in the tournament because we felt that emerging players should be Under 23, they are the future of Indian cricket. So that’s how we picked Virat Kohli.

100 matches for India is a great milestone, a fantastic achievement that shows Virat’s class as an international player. His focus, his passion and his discipline, these are the virtues that have enabled him to play for so long for India. He is still young, extremely fit and I am sure he will play for another 5-6 years easily. Virat is a fantastic player, one of the best in the world. All the best to you. 

— bcci.tv

Rohit Sharma

It’s been an absolutely brilliant journey for him, a long one. Since the time he made his debut and now to play his hundredth game, it’s been a long journey and it’s been a wonderful one. He has done exceedingly well in this particular format, changed so many things in the way the team is moving forward. It’s been brilliant to watch that and yes, it’s been one hell of a ride for him and it’ll continue to be in the years to come. We definitely want to make it a special one for him, we are all prepared for that so let’s hope that we have a good five days of cricket.

As a team, I think the series win in Australia in 2018 was very special for our team. And Virat was captain of the side then. As an individual, the best memory as a batter, was the Test hundred (119) in (Johannesburg) South Africa in 2013. The pitch we were playing on was very challenging, there was a lot of bounce on it and some of us were in playing their first Test series in South Africa and to face somebody like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, (Vernon) Philander, Jacques Kallis, it was never going to be easy. But the way he batted and scored a hundred and then a 90-odd (96) in the second innings, I think it was one of his best knocks, that I clearly remember. Even his hundred in Perth in 2018 was special but this beats that knock and it is my favourite knock of his.

As a Test team, we stand at a very good position. If you look at the last five years of Test cricket and the whole credit goes to Virat himself to get us going in this particular format. What he has done with the Test team over the years was brilliant to see. And for me, I just have to take it from where he has left.  

— Press Conference ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka

VVS Laxman

I still remember your Test debut in West Indies in 2011. And what really stood out to me, straightaway, was your zeal and mindset to always learn and improve and that is probably why you have achieved so much success and greatness in all three formats. 

The intensity, the pride, the passion with which you play your game has been infectious, you have inspired not only Indian cricketers but all over the world. What I admire about your journey so far is also how, as a leader, you have given importance to Test cricket because we know it’s going to be a challenging time to safeguard and protect Test cricket. 

— Twitter /@BCCI

Jasprit Bumrah

It is always a special achievement for a player. You know it is a testimony to his hard-work, dedication... (playing) 100 Test matches for your country is a great occasion and he has contributed a lot to the success of the Indian team and will contribute a lot more in the future as well. It is another feather in his (Kohli’s) cap. I just wish him the best and congratulate him for the achievement.

Here is a collection of tweets wishing the batter ahead of the Mohali Test: