India skipper Virat Kohli has taken his game to a different level altogether in the ongoing South Africa tour. After amassing 286 runs at an average of 47.66 on some of the most difficult pitches in the three-match Tests series, the 29-year-old scored three more one-day international tons in the recently concluded six-match ODI series against the Proteas.
Kohli became the first batsman in the history of cricket to amass more than 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. Virat finished the series with 558 runs at an incredible average of 186. Seeing Indian captain’s batting prowess in recent times, former India batsman Gundappa Viswanath on Sunday (February 18) said that Kohli has every chance to surpass the whopping tally of 100 international centuries scored by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
“Kohli has shown consistency, performance and is getting hundreds regularly, he has got every chance to break that record, but it’s a tall order,” Viswanath quoted as saying by PTI.
“Records are eventually meant to be broken. I am happy for that and I think even Sachin will be happy. But it is still a long way to go,” he further added.
While Kohli’s 112 in the first ODI at Durban helped India recording a 6-wicket victory, his unbeaten 160 in the third ODI at Cape Town ensured a whopping 124-run victory for the visitors. The Indian captain put on yet another show in the sixth ODI at Centurion on Friday (February 16) as India chased down South Africa’s paltry target of 205 with 8 wickets in hand and 107 balls to spare. Virat remained unbeaten on 129 off 96 balls to complete a 5-1 ODI series win over South Africa.
“The confidence is showing on his team, it is doing very well, their performance augurs well for Indian team,” Vishy said.
“I do not wish to compare but certainly the result is showing what Virat is doing. They beat most of the teams in India in recent times and in South Africa they came very close to beating them, especially in the first Test.
“They came back and won the third Test. I have confidence on this team that they will do well against other teams in their own countries,” he explained.
Speaking about the bowlers’ performances in the last few years, Viswanath said: “They have been absolutely brilliant, especially new-ball bowlers in Test cricket, bowling consistently well. They utilised the conditions very well, sometimes even better than the South Africans.”
Speaking further on the showing of India’s two wrist spin sensation – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, the 69-year-old said: “Wrist spinners are bowling well, you have to pick their line and length, sometimes they, the south Africans struggle, especially in one-day cricket.
“Wrist spinners always come in handy because they can get turn on any wicket. Kuldeep is showing amazing consistency, I don’t think they picked up his wrong uns’,” he concluded.