New Delhi: Former Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has expressed his support for Indian cricket star Virat Kohli to surpass former teammate Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most centuries in One Day Internationals (ODIs) during the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Kohli has scored an impressive 47 centuries in 282 ODIs, coming within two centuries of Tendulkar’s enduring record of 49 centuries in 463 ODIs.
Sachin also tops the charts for the highest run tally in the 50-over format with an impressive 18,426 runs while Kohli has ODI 13168 runs under his belt.
With at least eight more ODIs to come for India at the 2023 World Cup, Ponting has backed Kohli to reach Sachin’s record during the tournament on home soil.
“I think he will. I think he’ll definitely get two hundreds, whether he gets the three is another thing,” Ponting said on the latest episode of The ICC Review podcast.
“But the venues, the wickets and the grounds in India are just so conducive to scoring, making big runs. Who knows with him, it’s probably his last World Cup as well.
“If he gets that mindset, and we saw that he’s in pretty good touch, and we know with him he’s always hungry. He’s a winner, he wants success for himself and for his team.
“There is every chance at the end of this World Cup he could be equal with, if not breaking Sachin’s record, which is remarkable within itself,” he said.
The 34-year-old has overcome a lean patch without an ODI century between August 2019 and December 2022 to add four hundreds in 15 innings since then.
“Forty-nine one-day international hundreds is amazing. But he deserves that, he works hard. You watch him even in the field, game one, he just looks ultra fit, and is up for the contest every ball whether it’s in the field or with these batting hands. So I’d never write him off,” Ponting added.
The right-hander has scored two centuries in past Cricket World Cups, notably achieving an unbeaten 100 in his tournament debut against Bangladesh in 2011.
Kohli scored his first ODI ton with 107 against Sri Lanka in December 2009, and most recently reached three figures in the format with an unbeaten 122 against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super Four last month.