Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin believes that Virat Kohli will one day surely break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international centuries. Kohli recently scored his 39th ODI ton in Adelaide.
His 104 off 112 balls helped India beat Australia by 6 wickets and level the series. India were set a target of 299 runs. Kohli walked to the crease when India lost Shikhar Dhawan with just 47 runs on the board.
The entire world then witnessed yet another masterclass who is in pursuit of creating his own legacy. Kohli made 50-plus partnerships with Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni.
These partnerships put India in the driver’s seat. Later Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik shared an unbeaten 57-runs partnership to guide India over the finishing line.
With this century Kohli became the 11th highest run-getter in ODIs. It was his sixth ODI ton against Australia. Only Sachin (9) and Rohit (7) have scored more tons than him against the reigning 50-over World Champions.
This century was Kohli’s 24th ODI century while chasing. He has already overtaken Kumar Sangakkara for the most international hundreds and is currently third in the list. Ahead of him are Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71). Kohli has 64 international centuries from 401 innings.
Impressed with his consistency, Azharuddin believes Kohli can overtake Tendulkar if he remains fit. “Virat Kohli’s consistency is very good. If he stays fit, he will reach the 100-century mark. He is way ahead of many great players as far as his consistency is concerned. He is a great player and India have hardly lost whenever he has scored a century,” Azharuddin told Sports Tak.
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Azharuddin also praised MS Dhoni
Former captain MS Dhoni was criticized heavily for his slow innings in the series opener. However in Adelaide he scored 55 off 54 deliveries and won the game for India with four balls remaining.
“If you look at the trend whenever India’s top three score runs, we go on to win the match. Unfortunately, in the previous match we lost three early wickets, Rohit Sharma did score a century but we lost. But today, Virat Kohli batted extremely well and MS Dhoni too played well. Dhoni even got tired in the end but he kept his wicket intact. Dinesh Karthik also batted well. Overall, India’s performance was very good,” Azhar said.
“If you are out of practice and not playing domestic cricket, it becomes difficult to adjust to international cricket. I think that was reason Dhoni played slow innings in the first ODI but today he batted well. It was a match-winning knock,” he added.
The series decider between Australia and India will be played on January 18 in Melbourne.