This century further solidified Kohli’s status as one of the greatest players of the modern era.
Ponting, a legendary batter himself, stated, “There is no doubt he is the absolute best, and I have said that for a long time. He didn’t need to equal Sachin’s record; he doesn’t need to break the record. If you look at his overall batting record, it is incredible.”Kohli’s 49th ODI century came in 175 innings less than Tendulkar, highlighting his remarkable consistency and class. With two centuries in the ongoing World Cup and a total of 543 runs at an impressive average of 108.60, Kohli’s performances have been outstanding.
Ponting believes that Kohli, having reached the milestone of 49 ODI centuries, will be even more dangerous in the remaining matches of the World Cup as he can play with greater freedom.
“That (49th ton) might be a bit of a monkey off his back. I think he has been working extra hard to equal Sachin’s record. That’s done now, and it has happened at a really good time at the tournament for him. One more game to go, and then they head into the semi-finals. It was an almost perfect day for Virat and a great day for India.”
In addition to praising Kohli, Ponting also commended India’s bowling attack, stating that it has been the best among all the teams in the current World Cup. He highlighted the impact of Indian bowlers, with South Africa’s star-studded batting lineup being dismissed for just 83 runs in their recent encounter.
India’s bowlers have been exceptional throughout the tournament, with three players among the top 10 wicket-takers – Mohammad Shami (16), Jasprit Bumrah (15), and Ravindra Jadeja (14).
Ponting emphasised the need for opposition teams to analyse how to approach and counter India’s bowlers, especially Bumrah and Siraj, to succeed in matches against India.
“What we have seen in this World Cup so far is that India’s bowling attack has clearly been the best. Opposition teams are going to have to put a lot of analysis into how they play Bumrah, how they are going to play Siraj, as they need to get on top of these guys early. Because if they don’t, their spinners will come and get you in the middle of the game,” Ponting said.
Virat Kohli equals Sachin’s ODI century record with 49th ton on birthday
(With inputs from PTI)