Virat Kohli scored the third-quickest century (115* off 66 balls) by an Indian on Wednesday to help India register a 6-wicket win against Australia in Nagpur to level the seven-match series 2-2 with one match to go in Bengaluru.
India’s batting sensation Virat Kohli has already broken many ODI records in his 118-match career with many cricket experts feeling he is destined to go past Sachin Tendulkar’s limited-overs records.
Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, talking to a TV channel Headlines Today after India’s dramatic six wickets win said:”I have been playing one day cricket since 1992 and I know this format very well but, I have never seen anyone play so well as Virat is playing now, not even Sachin Tandulkar. ”
Sourav Ganguly was not alone in that assessment former Indian opener and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar also echoed Ganguly saying: “Virat has been simply outstanding. If you compare the statistics with what Sachin had achieved after 115 first-class games, you’ll find that Virat is well ahead. I think Sachin took around 80-odd ODIs to get his first hundred. India is blessed to have somebody of the talent of Virat Kohli coming through. The fact that in his emerging years spent a lot of time with the likes of Sachin, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and put that experience to good use on the field speaks very highly of this young man’s cricketing intelligence. He reads the conditions and situation well, he knows the opposition well and that’s the reason why he is scoring so consistently.”
Kohli has over the years shown that he enjoys chases down the targets. All his 11 hundreds batting second have come in an Indian win. In other words when, Kohli socres a hundred batting second India wins. He has been involved in as many as six 300-plus successful run chases and has scored centuries in five of them.
On both the occasions in this series when India chased 350-plus targets, Kohli’s hundred was the ke factor in host’s victory.
The Delhi dasher states that he relishes batting under lights. “I have always liked batting under lights and when I have target on the board it is always easy to analyse how much runs you need and at what point of time,” said Kohli after his swashbuckling innings at post-match presentation.
Statistically speaking he is the fastest man to score 15 ODI hundreds and the fastest Indian to score 4000 ODI runs. The under-19 World Cup winner needs 81 runs in his next ODI innings to break Vivian Richards’ record of being fastest to 5000 ODI runs.
Kohli became the first player to amass 1000 runs in the last three calendar years in ODI cricket. He scored 1381 runs in 2011, 1026 runs in 2012 and 1033 runs in 2013. On way his 115 not out, he also became the first batsman to record five successive innings of fifty-plus twice in ODIs. He had already achieved this feat in 2012.
By the time Sachin turned 25, he had 15 ODI hundreds, whereas, Kohli, who turns 25 in a week’s time, has 17. Out of these 17 hundreds Kohli has scored 16 are in a winning cause. In successful chases, Kohli is averaging a staggering 86.53 – with 2596 runs in 46 matches, including eleven centuries and twelve fifties.
Former Australian bastman Dean Jones, in an exclusive interview to an Indian channel, said Virat will go past Tendulkar. “I will tell you he will get past Sachin. He will play 30 ODIs a year for the next 15 years and he will pass Sachin, who would have ever thought of that?”