As the former India captain and one of the best batters ever in modern-day cricket, Virat Kohli is celebrating his 35th birthday on Sunday, the Indian team came together to create an incredible video for the ICC, extending their heartfelt wishes to Kohli on his special day.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) posted a video on Instagram, featuring Shubman Gill, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin alongside head coach Rahul Dravid, with a caption, "Incredible batter. Elite chaser. Born leader. Virat Kohli is fulfilling his destiny and will be remembered as one of the all-time greats in the history books."
Head coach Dravid said that Kohli's performances over the years have set a benchmark for his generation of cricketers. "Virat’s a legend of the game and especially this format [ODI]. All formats of the game, but particularly this one. The performances; the way he’s been able to finish games, the standard of his performances over the years has probably set a benchmark for his generation of cricketers,” Dravid said in the video.
“That fire and dedication towards the game after playing for so long has not fallen down. It only keeps on getting up. So that is something that I can also learn and everyone who watches the game, I am sure, learns a lot from," said Bumrah.
“His hunger and his passion for the game are unparalleled. I have not seen anyone who is as hungry and as passionate as him,” Gill said in a video.
“He has got the fitness culture. He has got the bond. He’s always there in the game. And that is something I think which will inspire, obviously a lot of us, but at the same point of time, a lot of millions of fans as well," Pandya added.
Veteran spinner Ashwin said: "He’s changed the DNA of thinking around Indian cricket. How one batsman needs to perceive it. How one batter needs to prepare for a game."
Wishes continued to shower on social media as well. Former star all-rounder Yuvraj Singh penned a long post X (formerly twitter) Kohli had ruled the game with his work ethics, passion and hard work.
"When you joined the team as a youngster who was eager for opportunities and hungry to perform, it was clear to everyone that you were destined for greatness. You've not only made a mark for yourself but have also inspired countless others to strive for excellence.
"As you celebrate another year of breaking and setting records, take a moment to reflect on all that you've achieved. Proud to have shared this incredible journey with you, and to see you grow from strength to strength.
"May your passion and determination continue to drive you and the Indian team to new heights in the World Cup and make our nation proud once again," Yuvraj wrote.
Ex-India opener Virendra Sehwag posted: "Century haemoglobin ki tarah inki ragon mein daudti hai. A young guy with dreams in his eyes, with his work-ethics ,passion, hardwork and talent has ruled the game . Ups and downs yes but what has remained constant is his intensity and hunger. Best wishes"
"A very Happy Birthday @imVkohli! Your journey from hard work and determination to becoming a world-class player is nothing short of legendary. You've come a long way, and it's great to witness how far you’ve come. Here's to more milestones and success in your life!" said former batter Suresh Raina.
"514 intl. matches & counting
26,209 intl. runs & counting
2011 ICC World Cup & 2013 ICC Champions Trophy winner 🏆
Here's wishing Virat Kohli - Former #TeamIndia Captain & one of the greatest modern-day batters - a very Happy Birthday!" BCCI said in a X post.
Kohli's IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore's too extend a heartfelt wish: "Happy Birthday, King Kohli
Special day and it’s time to sing,
Happy birthday to the cricketing King
Virat Kohli, you rule the game
With your hard work, skill and boundless fame,"
Kohli will be taking on South Africa at the Eden Gardens on his birthday, as India look to maintain their unbeaten streak in the World Cup 2023.
The stylish batter will also be looking to equal Sachin Tendulkar's record of most ODI Hundreds with 48 under his belt. Tendulkar who has scored 49 ODI Hundreds heads the record of most ODI Hundreds.
He has already surpassed Tendulkar's record of most 1000-run in a calendar year in ODIs during the match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.