Former India captain Sourav Ganguly heaped praise on "remarkable" Virat Kohli and said the 29-year-old "is right up there" with the likes of batting greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid.
Ganguly said Kohli's single-mindedness to convert his starts into big knocks makes him special and that he admires the Indian skipper's intensity.
Kohli brought up his 18th Test ton on Monday, November 21, as he put India in a commanding position on Day 5 of the rain-affected first Test between India and Sri Lanka that ended in a draw. It was also the 50th international century for the Delhi man, who is now the joint-fastest along with Hashim Amla to get to the milestone (348 innings).
'Great to watch his intensity'
India were in a spot of bother in the morning session of Day 5 at Eden Gardens after Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal ran through the top-order, just like the way he did on a more green track and overcast conditions in the first innings.
Kohli, who started cautiously, cut loose as he batted with the tail to reach the three-figure mark for the third time in Tests in 2017. He not only drove the hosts out of danger but put them in a commanding position as Sri Lanka were jolted in the innings during their chase of 231. The visitors escaped a defeat as bad light stopped play when they were reeling at 75 for 7.
"He is a fantastic player, I have seen Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Dravid and this man, right up there with everyone," Ganguly told India Today.
He added: "It was a magnificent hundred, looking at the celebrations after. It just spoke volumes. If he would have got out early today, the game could have gone either way. This wicket has enough for seamers to take wickets on day five as well."
"His ability and hunger, he is a remarkable player. He's that one player, once he gets past 50, he makes sure he scores a 100. That's the difference between him and the rest. It's great to watch his intensity. The best thing about Virat Kohli is how many times have we seen him turn on a cricket field half ready? He is always up and always at the top of his game," he added.
Kohli breaking records at will
Kohli, who is known for his match-winning abilities, is breaking records at will with his consistent run in the recent past across all-formats.
The right-hander needed 28 fewer innings than his idol Tendulkar to get to 50 international tons. He is now second only to the Mumbai great (49) on the list of most ODI hundreds as he went past Australian legend Ricky Ponting's tally (30) in the recently-concluded ODI series against New Zealand at home.
At 29, he has already surpassed the likes of Rahul Dravid (48), Sanath Jayasuriya (42) and Younis Khan (41) on the list of most international hundreds as well.
'Want to win Test matches'
Kohli himself on Monday acknowledged his quick rise to the top but maintained he would want to keep winning matches for his team. India will now take on Sri Lanka in the second of the ongoing three-Test series in Nagpur from Friday, November 24.
"[It] feels good. My journey hasn't been long but I want to continue contributing, especially in situations like these [referring to today's Test]," Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"If I can step up and perform, that will give me more pleasure than thinking about the number of hundreds I have. The mindset is always to go forward and help the team forward, and win Test matches," he added.