When it comes to cricketing legends, there’s a saying that goes, “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” In the case of India’s former skipper, Virat Kohli, that hour arrived in Chennai on a Sunday when he single-handedly rescued his team in their six-wicket win over Australia, setting the stage for an exciting ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Kohli’s remarkable performance saw him slam a match-winning 85 runs under tough conditions, narrowly missing his 48th One Day International (ODI) century. The Indian legend is now standing on the verge of history, inching closer to former India captain Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI hundreds.
Ricky Ponting, the former Australia skipper and a three-time World Cup winner himself with 30 ODI centuries, backed the modern-day great to go beyond Tendulkar’s tally during this World Cup. In an interview with ICC Review, Ponting expressed his belief that Kohli could potentially equal or surpass Tendulkar’s record in this World Cup, especially given the favorable conditions for batting in India.
Ponting’s confidence in Kohli’s abilities was evident as he stated, “I think he will. I think he’ll definitely get two hundreds, whether he gets the three is another thing. But the venues, the wickets and the grounds in India are just so conducive to scoring, making big runs. Who knows with him, it’s probably his last World Cup as well. If he gets that mindset, and we saw that he’s in pretty good touch, and we know with him he’s always hungry. He’s a winner, he wants success for himself and for his team. There is every chance at the end of this World Cup he could be equal with, if not breaking Sachin’s record, which is remarkable within itself.”
Kohli’s journey to cricketing greatness continues, and his next opportunity to showcase his prowess is in a match against Afghanistan, which takes place in his hometown, Delhi. Ponting hailed Kohli as the master run-chaser in world cricket, emphasizing his ability to excel under pressure, a quality that makes him a vital asset for the Indian team in the World Cup.
The recent match against Australia demonstrated Kohli’s ability to thrive in challenging situations. With India reeling at 3 for 2 after an early collapse in their pursuit of Australia’s 199 runs, Kohli played a brilliant innings, scoring 85 runs off 116 deliveries. He formed a crucial partnership with KL Rahul, who remained unbeaten with 97 runs, as they gradually turned the tide in India’s favor.
Ponting praised Kohli for his ability to minimize risks and focus on rotating the strike during high-pressure situations. He pointed out that Kohli’s approach is not reliant on luck or coincidence but on his meticulous planning and unwavering belief in his abilities. Ponting stated, “Virat Kohli loves under pressure situations, he loves the run chases. It’s no fluke or coincidence, he works the game out and thinks how he’ll play before coming out to bat. He’ll stick to what he thinks will work for him.”
As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 unfolds, cricket enthusiasts and fans of Kohli eagerly anticipate his further exploits on the field. After his heroic performance in Chennai, Kohli is ready to lead India in their next match against Afghanistan, scheduled for today in his home city of Delhi. The world watches with bated breath as this cricketing maestro continues to etch his name in the annals of cricketing history.