Virat Kohli produced a batting masterclass to script India’s comprehensive 67-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first ODI at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday (January 10).
Batting at No. 3, Kohli slammed 113 off 87 balls, propelling the hosts to a mammoth 373/7 in their allotted 50 overs. His innings was studded with 12 fours and 1 six.
During the knock, the right-hander got a couple of lifelines as Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka dropped his catches after he crossed his half-century.
Taking complete advantage of the reprieves, Virat went on to smash his 45th hundred in the 50-over format and his first ODI century at home since March 2019.
Speaking to Star Sports, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said he has no doubt that Virat Kohli would surpass Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 49 ODI hundreds. However, he feels it might be difficult for the former skipper to go past Tendulkar’s tally of Test hundreds.
"I have no doubt that he will overtake Sachin Tendulkar in one-day hundreds. The Test hundreds, that would be a big mountain to climb. In this format, he is an all-time great, not to say that he is not a Test match great. He just needs 4 hundreds to equal Tendulkar in ODIs whereas, in Tests, Tendulkar has 51 hundreds. I hope he carries that ambition and aspiration to get there. But 49, I am sure may be will happen in a year and a half," Manjrekar said.
It was a back-to-back ODI century for Kohli and Manjrekar reckons it is a great sign for India in the World Cup year. He also pointed at the veteran Indian batter’s passionate celebration to state that he is enjoying his game.
"See what's happened in the last couple of years, we have been talking that Virat Kohli has been out of form. He has been getting the one big knock which has promoted celebrations and talks like 'King is back' and that Kohli has found his mojo. And then what happens is there would be another run of low scores, then another good innings would come.
"Today (on Tuesday), the passion was there, the smile was back when he was celebrating the hundred. I got the impression that he wanted this badly, for the form to stay with him, not just one innings and then getting out for 3-4 innings.
"This is two consecutive hundreds, which is a great sign. For the greats of Indian batting like Kohi and Tendulkar, hundreds came one after the other," Manjrekar remarked.
The second ODI between India and Sri Lanka is due to be held in Kolkata on Thursday (January 12)