India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat against Sri Lanka in a landmark 100th Test for superstar cricketer Virat Kohli on Friday.

Kohli, 33, was congratulated by officials at the start of the two-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

Coach Rahul Dravid presented Kohli, surrounded by the Indian team and with his wife Anushka Sharma beside him, with a special cap.

“When you started out as a kid you must have wanted to play one Test for India, you stand here on the cusp of your 100th,” said Dravid during the ceremony. “It’s a testament to everything that is great in our sport... sweat, discipline, courage, skill, determination, desire, focus, you had it all. You had a great journey. You can be very proud of not only playing the 100th Test match but also for the great journey that you have navigated through.”

Dravid added: “Congratulations to you and your family on this fantastic achievement. It is well deserved, it is well earned… hopefully it is just the start of many more bigger things to come and as we say in the dressing room, ‘double it up’.”

Kohli, on his part, graciously thanked all those who were involved in his long journey to 100 Tests.

“It is indeed a special moment for me,” said Kohli. “My wife is here. My brother is here in the stadium. All my family members… my coach from childhood. Very proud. All my team-mates, thank you so much for all your support over the years. It is indeed a team game and this journey could not have been possible without all of you. To the BCCI as well for giving me the opportunity to represent the Indian cricket team initially and then everything has just gone from strength to strength.”

The former India Test skipper believes that playing 100 Tests in this era was a challenge.

“Only thing I would say is that in this day and age… in the present day cricket, with the amount of cricket we play, three formats and the IPL, the only takeaway if the next generation can take from my Test career, is that I was able to strive through and play the purest format of the game and play 100 Tests which is something I am very proud of.”

And lastly, Kohli did not forget to doff his hat to Dravid.

“I could not have received it from a better person, one of my childhood heroes,” said Kohli. “I still have that picture in my house — in the Under-15 NCA days, where I was looking at you and getting a picture taken with you and today I am getting my 100th Test cap from you. So it has been a great journey and one that continues to grow hopefully.”