Former India captain and IndiaTV Cricket Expert Sourav Ganguly was at a loss of adjectives to describe Virat Kohli, who on Wednesday became the fastest to score 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals. 'King' Kohli comfortably bettered the record set by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, while Kohli has so far batted in 205 innings. Fortune, too, was on Kohli's side as West Indies skipper Jason Holder dropped his Indian counterpart on 44.
Kohli notched up his 37th ODI hundred as he fired 157 off 129 balls to help India post a competitive 321/6 against West Indies in the second ODI of the five-match series in Vizag.
"I am at a loss of words to describe Virat Kohli's performance. The wicket was different today, conditions were different, but he changed the entire game. It was a fantastic knock. I don't have enough words," Ganguly told IndiaTV during "Cricket Ki Baat" show.
Seventeen summers ago, Tendulkar had ventured into what was then an unchartered territory, during a match against Australia. On Wednesday, Kohli became the 13th batsman to reach the milestone.
At a venue set amidst picturesque hills, Kohli reached the mark when he played Ashley Nurse for a single in the 37th over of the second ODI against the West Indies.
Ganguly said Kohli is no less than Sachin Tendulkar and lauded his ability to change the game under any condition. The former captain also termed Kohli as an example for every international cricket.
"I have closely seen Sachin Tendulkar play and he has scored 49 ODI hundreds and 100 tons overall but this man is no less than anybody. Kohli has now scored 37 ODI hundreds and he is not too far behind Tendulkar's record. It is important to see that Kohli can play in all conditions and to change the game in all conditions. He carries the entire team on his shoulders.
"We saw that in England too where he scored hundreds when all the other batsmen were failing to score runs. India were at a difficult position in Guwahati today but Kohli led the team out of troubled waters. He is an all-time great in Indian cricket and in world cricket. He is not even 30 and has a lot of time left in his career. Since that 2014 England tour, Kohli has completely changed himself as a batsman and has scored 39 international hundreds. This is just unbelievable. Kohli is an example for every cricketer," he said.
Live Cricket Streaming, India vs West Indies 2nd ODI, Watch IND vs WI Live Match on Star Sports Cricket, Hotstar
Entering the game 81 short of 10,000, with this achievement the run machine added another feather to his illustrious cap.
Kohli has been in sublime form across formats this year and has scored over 900 runs in ODIs alone. He is currently the world's No.1 batsman in both the Test and one-day formats.
Kohli's journey has been awe-inspiring, from his first-class debut, winning the U-19 World Cup, captaining the Indian team, to rewriting batting records at will.
With his unbeatable performances, Kohli has won several accolades including the Arjuna award, ICC World Cricketer of the year and multiple BCCI international Cricketer of the Year awards.
Ganguly said there's no denying that Kohli is on par with Tendulkar in ODI cricket.
"He [Kohli] is a master. There's no doubt now that Kohli is on par with Sachin Tendulkar in ODI cricket. I will not compare Kohli with Tendulkar... both are very big players. However, Kohli has certainly taken this generation of cricket to a different level. His consistency and intensity is remarkable. There's no stopping him. Whenever he comes on to the field, it feels as if it's his first time," he concluded.