Former India head coach Ravi Shastri remarked that it wouldn't be wise to dismiss Virat Kohli's potential to achieve the milestone of 100 international hundreds, following the star batter surpassing Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most ODI hundreds.
The 35-year-old accomplished his 50th ODI hundred with flair during India's World Cup 2023 semi-final win against New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday, November 15.
In 291 matches, Virat Kohli reached his 50th ODI century, leaving spectators in awe. During the semi-final at Wankhede Stadium, Kohli paid homage to Sachin Tendulkar, who was present in the stands. The fans at the iconic venue gave Kohli a standing ovation as he secured a hundred in a World Cup knockout match for the first time.
Kohli reached No. 49 in 174 innings, faster than Sachin Tendulkar, continually setting and breaking records throughout his illustrious career. Additionally, he surpassed Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most runs in a single edition of the World Cup (673), accumulating 711 runs in 10 matches. Kohli achieved three centuries and five fifty-plus scores in what has been an outstanding campaign for the star batter.
Virat Kohli remains a part of all three formats of Indian cricket, and Ravi Shastri believes the former captain has several more years ahead of him at the top level.
"Who would have thought when Sachin Tendulkar got 100 hundreds that anyone would come close he's got 80, 80 international hundreds, 50 of them in the one-day game and which makes him the highest. Unreal," Ravi Shastri told the iCC.
"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. You have three formats of the game and he's part of all those formats.
"To think that he still has three or four years of cricket ahead of him is simply mind-boggling," he added.
On the other hand, Ravi Shastri remarked that Virat Kohli hasn't appeared restless on the field as he did in past World Cups. He emphasised Kohli's deliberate approach, handling the pressure of significant matches calmly.
Kohli excelled on the grand stage with his innings of 117, anchoring India's formidable batting performance against New Zealand. Fueled by Kohli's century and Shreyas Iyer's rapid 105, India set a target of 397 before securing a 70-run victory while defending the total.
"I have seen him come out in previous World Cups where he's like a cat on a hot tin roof. He wants to get on with it straight away. None of that sort here," Shastri added.
"He's taken his time, marked his guard, soaked the pressure, given himself time, and understood his role of batting deep in the innings. And he's just been wonderful."
Virat Kohli will be looking to add to his already incredible tally in World Cup 2023 when India play the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19.