It was a historic feat for Virat Kohli when he crossed Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI Centuries even though it was never unimaginable. Virat Kohli breaking Sachin’s record in this format has always been on the cards for the last five or six years. Kohli passed his idol’s feat in the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against New Zealand.
Virat Kohli has bossed the 50-over cricket. Even when his bat went a bit silent in other formats between 2019 and 2022, he was always going strong in ODIs. Therefore, when the moment finally arrived that too in a World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Virat Kohli became the first cricketer to reach 50 centuries in ODI cricket and he did that in front of his idol in his idol’s home ground at Wankhede, Mumbai.
The ODI format is not the most suitable right now as the T20 World Cup is just a few months away. India is scheduled to play only five ODIs next year and Virat Kohli’s future in T20Is is uncertain given he has not played the shortest format since December 2022. So the biggest challenge for Virat Kohli is to match up to Sachin’s record of a hundred international centuries.
Virat Kohli has 80 international centuries to his name right now. If Virat Kohli wishes to equal Tendulkar’s record then the best chance he has is in the red-ball cricket. If Virat can manage to play at his full fitness for the next four years even then he will have to score five centuries each year to match the great Sachin Tendulkar which is not an easy task.
Brian Lara Feels That It Will Be A Tough Job For Virat Kohli To Equal Sachin’s 100 International Centuries
West Indies Legend Brian Lara, even after being a Virat Kohli fan is not optimistic about him reaching Tendulkar’s hundred international centuries. “How old is Kohli now? 35, right? He has 80 but still needs 20. If he scores five centuries every year he’d need four more years to equal Tendulkar. Kohli will be 39 then. Tough job, very tough job,” Lara told Anandabazar Patrika.
The former West Indies skipper said that it doesn’t seem logical or practical from a cricketing perspective. “Can’t say with certainty, no one can. Those saying Kohli will break Tendulkar’s 100-centuries record won’t be taking cricketing logic into account. 20 centuries seem a long way away. Most cricketers can’t score that in their entire career. I won’t be adventurous and say Kohli will do it,” he added. “Age doesn’t stop for anyone. Kohli will break many more records but 100 centuries seems the most difficult one.”
‘Only Virat Can Come Close’, Says Brian Lara
However, Brian Lara mentioned that if anyone can get close to it then it is Virat Kohli. “Only Kohli can come close. I’m a big fan of his discipline and dedication. The way he prepares for a match by giving it his all… how can you not be his fan,” he added.
“My best wishes are with him. I’d be very happy if he could score 100 centuries like Tendulkar. Sachin was a dear friend and like I said before, I’m a big fan of Kohli,” he said.
Virat Kohli amassed 765 runs in 11 matches in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at an average of 95.62. He became the first cricketer to go past 700 runs in a single edition of an ODI World Cup. Virat slammed three centuries in the World Cup but many believed that he slowed down to score a couple of them. Brian Lara was asked if Virat was playing for the milestone to which Lara replied. “Those are saying all these are jealous of him. They are envious of the amount of runs he has scored. I have faced this too in my career,” Lara said.
Virat Kohli might face a tough challenge in equalling Sachin’s hundred international centuries but one thing is given is that he is the only player who can do it. Even Sachin Tendulkar said many years ago that Virat can break his record.