Ricky Ponting believes Virat Kohli can break Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of a hundred international hundreds despite him needing 30 more tons to overtake the Master Blaster.
Kohli’s journey to overtaking Tendulkar hit a bump after he went 1,020 days without scoring a hundred for India. He had notched up his 70th international ton in November 2019 against Bangladesh, but a slump in form followed thereafter. Kohli did not score another century until September 8 this year, against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, which was also his first in T20Is, and 71st overall.
According to Ponting, the long break between Kohli’s centuries should not hinder him from overtaking Tendulkar, who has a hundred hundreds in cricket – 51 in Test cricket and 49 in ODIs. Kohli will need 29 more hundreds to get to the 100-mark, and 30 more to overhaul Tendulkar.
Speaking on the ICC Review, Ponting said that Kohli cannot be written off and can surpass Tendulkar. “If you would have asked me three years ago, I’d have said yes [he could break Tendulkar’s tally]. But the fact that it has slowed down as much as it did… but yeah, I still think that it is possible for him, there’s no doubt.
“I still think he has got a number of years ahead of him, but I guess to still be 30 international hundreds behind, that’s a lot. 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 ones, maybe the odd T20 ones on top of it.
“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.”
Kohli had scored 36 centuries across formats between January 2016 and November 2019, in what was arguably his best patch. He averaged 66.79 in Test cricket, 80.98 in ODIs and a little under 60 in T20 Internationals in this period.
Ponting had amassed 71 international hundreds and is joint-second on the list with most tons, along with Kohli.