Melbourne: Surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s feat of 100 international centuries is ‘possible’ for Virat Kohli according to Australian great Ricky Ponting. He is admiring Kohli’s new-found hunger for runs. Kohli recently ended a wait of 1,020 days for his 71st international hundred when he smashed 122 not out off 61 balls against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup earlier this month.
“Look, I’ll never say never with Virat. Because you know once he gets on a bit of a roll, you know how hungry he is and how keen for success he is. I’ll never say never that’s for sure,” Ricky Ponting said.
In the course of his century, Kohli equalled Ponting’s feat of 71 tons. Kohli has now only one name on the list of most centuries above him – Tendulkar.
Thirty international centuries may be a lot, but Ponting said: “I still think he has got a number of years ahead of him. Yes it will take some doing to get 30 hundreds, but I believe Kohli can achieve the feat.”
Ponting added: “That’s five or six Test hundreds a year, maybe for the next three or four years. If you throw a couple of one-day centuries, maybe the odd T20 ones on top of it, Kohli may still achieve the feat.”
With Kohli back to his best, a debate doing the rounds now is whether he should open in place of KL Rahul, who has struggled to get into rhythm after coming back from an injury lay-off. Kohli has opened for India in nine T20Is, scoring 400 runs at an average of 57.14 with a superb strike rate of 161.29.
Ponting said it would be better for Kohli himself to decide. “Look, let him decide. He is the person who can understand what is best for him. I am sure the selectors are also thinking on the same lines,” Ponting pointed out.
Kohli returned to the Indian team in the Asia Cup after a month-long break. Asked whether Kohli should be rested again Ponting said: “Yes, that’s a really good question and that’s probably only he can answer. It’s just going to depend on how he is feeling mentally again”