Mumbai: Star batsman Virat Kohli might now be holding the record for most ODI hundreds, but former India head coach Ravi Shastri firmly believed that the 35-year-old is well on his way to break another big landmark — Sachin Tendulkar’s 100 international hundreds.
AdvertisementAlong with his 50 ODI centuries, Kohli also has 29 hundreds in Tests and one in T20Is for a total of 80 scores above 100. Kohli had broken Tendulkar’s mark of 49 one-day hundreds against New Zealand in the World Cup semifinals here on Wednesday.
“Who would have thought when Sachin Tendulkar got 100 hundreds that anyone would come close? And, he’s got 80; 80 international hundreds, 50 of them in the one-day game, which makes him the highest. Unreal,” said Shastri during The ICC Review. “Nothing’s impossible because such players, when they start reeling off hundreds, then they score them pretty quickly. His next 10 innings, you might see another five hundreds.
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Advertisement“I think his composure, his body language, his calmness at the crease (in this WC). I have seen him come out in previous World Cups where he’s like a cat on a hot tin roof. “He wanted to get on with it straight away. None of that sort here. He’s taken his time, marked his guard, soaked the pressure, given himself time, and understood his role of batting deep in the innings. He’s just been wonderful,” he added. Shastri had worked closely with Kohli during his reign as the coach and pointed out that with a strict diet cardio and fitness control, he maintains his fitness at the top level, allowing him to run between the wickets freely. “One of the features of his batting has been his running between the wickets. The fact that he doesn’t have to hit boundaries and sixes, he can run hard between the wickets because of his physical fitness. “That takes the pressure off him. Even when he’s not getting the boundaries, he’s still rotating the strike. He always has that uncanny ability of making it up towards the back end of the innings,” he added. Shastri also elaborated on Kohli’s batting preparations — a combination of mental shifts, technical tinkering and physical fitness. “It’s a mix of all three. (It) gives him some time to be calm and composed at the beginning of the innings. “His shot selection in the first 10-15 runs, he doesn’t take that extra risk. He’s quite prepared to leave deliveries, knock the ball around,” he noted.