IN THE ART OF SACRIFICE DHONI, KOHLI RATED ABOVE SACHIN, REMINDS OF TENDULKAR-DRAVID RIFT WHEN THE LATTER DECLARED WITH SACHIN ON 194

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The Hush Post: Batting on 97, Virat Kohli was about to declare when coach Ravi Shastri prevailed over him and signaled to continue batting in the first match of the Test series between India and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens Kolkata. With a possible 46 overs for Sri Lanka to bat, Kohli was aiming at a win and wanted to sacrifice his century. But Shastri asked him to continue for some time. He took one more run and then without wasting much time sent the ball over between the long-on and extra covers before he started walking back. Shastri said, he is a fabulous player, commenting about his fighting spirit and the will to sacrifice.

When the message went viral, experts and commentators started drawing hush-hush parallels of the Sachin innings of 194 against Pakistan more than a decade ago. The then captain Dravid declared just when Sachin was six runs short of a double-hundred, obviously later both had a few days of unsettled relationship. More recently, Dhoni has been quite gracious in sacrificing his half-centuries for others, once on 48, instead of retaining the strike gave it to Kohli in an ODI match against England who was nearing a century and in yet another match gave it to the young Manish Pandey, who too subsequently made his 50.

In Kolkata, after the message from the dressing room, Kohli notched up his 18th Test ton with a six and declared India’s innings immediately at 352/8. His 11th century as skipper helped India set Sri Lanka a 231-run target. Kohli is the fastest to get to 50 hundreds in all formats of the game. Left with a target of 231 to defend, the hosts came quite close to notching up a win with Lankans at 75/7 in the second innings on the fifth and final day. India take on the visitors in the second Test in Nagpur Friday onwards.

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