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It took Virat Kohli 1019 days and 129 innings to go from 70 to 71st century. But now he is just behind Sachin Tendulkar

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraSep 09, 2022 | 10:45

It took Virat Kohli 1019 days and 129 innings to go from 70 to 71st century. But now he is just behind Sachin Tendulkar

With this ton, Kohli equalled Ricky Ponting’s tally of international hundreds. (Photo: AP)

"Abhi bhi thoda cricket baaki hain (there's still some cricket left in me)," Virat Kohli said to Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar after scoring a brilliant ton against Afghanistan on Thursday (September 8).

Kohli scored a 61-ball 122 to take India to 212/2 against Afghanistan in Asia Cup in Dubai. It took 1019 days for Kohli to go from 70 to 71st international century. His previous ton came on November 24, 2019 in the day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata.

Vintage Virat: Asked to open the innings with KL Rahul in the absence of Rohit Sharma, Kohli looked in complete focus and control throughout the innings. He dominated the Afghan pacers driving them all around the ground. Against the spinners, he used his feet a lot and stepped out to play some big shots. He also played a sweep shot, which we have hardly ever seen him play.

Looked like he loved opening the innings too and had 119-run opening stand with KL Rahul off 76 balls. He went berserk in the last five overs and reached his century in style hitting a boundary and a six. Kohli ended the innings smashing two sixes and a four off Fazalhaq Farooqi to push India past 200.

Nearing Sachin Tendulkar's record: With this ton, Kohli equalled Ricky Ponting’s tally of international hundreds. Now he is just behind Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time list of international centuries.

  • Tendulkar scored a record 100 tons in 664 matches. It took Kohli 468 matches to reach his 71st century, while Ponting reached 71 hundreds in 560 matches.
With his 71st ton, Kohli also became the fourth Indian player to score centuries in all three formats of the game. (Photo: BCCI)
  • But the one thing that’s really striking is that even after struggling with poor form for close to 3 years, Kohli's average is much better than Tendulkar's and Ponting's.
  • Kohli’s average is 53.81 when compared with Tendulkar’s 48.52 and Ponting’s 45.95.

The numbers: Kohli's 71 international tons include 27 in Tests, 43 in ODIs and just one in the T20I format.

  • His first T20I century was Kohli's first century after 129 innings across formats in all professional cricket, 83 of them in Internationals and 46 in IPL, reported Cricbuzz.
  • With his 71st ton, Kohli also became the fourth Indian player to score centuries in all three formats of the game. Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and KL Rahul are the other 3.
  • Kohli's 122-run knock was also the highest individual score by an Indian player in T20Is. He went past Rohit Sharma's 118 against Sri Lanka in 2017.

Kohli feels blessed: After India won the match by 101 runs to end their Asia Cup campaign, Kohli said he feels very blessed and grateful. "Last two and a half years have taught me a lot. I’m going to turn 34 in November, so celebrations are all from the past," Kohli said.

Kohli's 122-run knock was also the highest individual score by an Indian player in T20Is. (Photo: BCCI)

Kohli said he was shocked that the century finally came in the T20 format. "I have put a lot of things in perspective and, actually I was a bit shocked because this was the format I least expected a century to come any time soon, but it’s all God’s blessings, I have been working hard and this was just a moment which was very special for me and the team as well," ICC quoted him as saying.

Last updated: September 09, 2022 | 10:45
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