Munish Bali, the assistant coach of Virat Kohli-led India’s U-19 World Cup-winning team of 2008 believes the current Indian captain can break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI centuries.
Virat Kohli can break batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI centuries as per Munish Bali, the assistant coach of India’s U-19 World Cup-winning team of 2008. Kohli has undergone an unbelieve transformation as a professional cricketer over the years. Considered as one of the best batsmen in the world, Kohli’s unmatched hunger for runs coupled with his incredible consistency has helped him break several records over the years.
Bali, who has observed Kohli from close quarters during his early days in cricket, believes the 30-year-old has taken his game to another level and his fitness is commendable. Kohli has maintained impeccable fitness over the last few years and has led the Indian team by example. Not just fitness, Kohli has also been terrific with the willow and has evolved into a complete batsman proving his mettle across the world.
“There’s a huge difference from 2008 to now. The transformation in terms of fitness is huge. I knew Virat will represent the Indian senior team someday. The way he took fitness to another level is commendable. He is the one who has set the fitness standards for other members in the team,” Bali told Times of India in an interview.
Kohli is currently the only active batsman close to breaking Sachin’s record of 49 ODI centuries – the most by any batsman ever. The Indian captain has 39 ODI centuries to his name in 214 innings and stands just 11 away from leaving the Master Blaster behind. With the kind of consistency he has shown across formats, Bali backed Kohli to break Sachin’s record and script history.
“The way he is going, he can break Tendulkar’s ODI centuries record,” he said. In 2018 Kohli overtook Sachin to become the fastest to 10,000 ODI runs proving his unmatched run-scoring pedigree. The 30-year-old played only 14 ODIs in 2018 but notched up six hundreds in the limited number of outings to amass a brilliant 1202 runs at an astounding average of 133.55. He was named the ICC Cricketer of the Year, ICC ODI and Test cricketer of the year swooping all three major honours to round off a stellar year.
Bali lavished praise on Kohli for his overall transformation and said it was only because of his hard work and determination that the Indian skipper had made it to the summit of world cricket.
“One thing I would say about Virat is he has changed the face of cricket. He is as aggressive as he was in his early days. With his fitness level, hunger for runs and hunger to win, Virat has taken cricket to another level. He grabbed all opportunities he got with both hands. He scored runs when his team needed them. He is a god gifted talent and he realised it and worked on it. He has become a legend in a short span of time. And all the credit goes to his hard work, determination and the way he worships the sport,” Bali said.