Ishant Sharma, playing his 100th Test for India, was presented a special cap by Home Minister Amit Shah and a memento by President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of the third Test against England at the newly renamed Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ishant became only the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to feature in 100 Tests for the country. The pacer has so far scalped over 300 wickets with the cherry including 11 five-wicket hauls. He burst onto the scene as a lanky teenager with an ability to bowl extremely fast.
India's captain Virat Kohli also showered praise on Ishant ahead of the pink-ball Test. Kohli said could have prioritised white-ball cricket to prolong his career but praised the speedster for giving importance to Test cricket.
"I have known Ishant for many years now," Kohli said. "He started playing state cricket with me from his first season onwards. We have been roommates for many years in state cricket, in Ranji Trophy cricket. When he first got selected for India, he was fast asleep in the afternoon, and I had to kick him off the bed and say you have been selected. And he wouldn't believe me. That's how far we go back.
"I couldn't be happier for him. Playing 100 Test matches as a fast bowler is no mean feat. Especially in our conditions where things get so difficult. But he persevered, he kept working hard. That's been his essence from day one."
Meanwhile, visitors England opted to bat first at Motera. The only Day-Night game of the four-Test series will see over 50,000 spectators at the hulking stadium -- the world's largest cricket venue that can accommodate over 1,10,000, which is more than Melbourne Cricket Ground.