South Africa batting legend AB de Villiers has heaped praise on Virat Kohli for equaling the incredible most ODI centuries record of Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli achieved the feat with a gritty knock against South Africa at Eden Gardens on his birthday. The 35-year-old took 175 innings less than Tendulkar to score his 49th ODI century.
AB de Villiers, who shares great camaraderie with Kohli, said that the Indian batting star scoring 49 centuries in 277 innings is lightening fast despite the emergence of game.
“It has taken Virat 277 innings to get to 49 hundreds. That is very quick even though it’s a new generation kind of thing that is lightning fast,” AB de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.
De Villiers also opened up on his bonding with Kohli and called him a brother. Meanwhile, he suggested that it’s unfair to compare Tendulkar’s and Kohli’s numbers as the rules and playing conditions have changed over the years as the game of cricket has evolved with time.
“The two of us are really close. We are basically brothers and I am very happy for Virat. It’s a new generation and you can’t really compare numbers, especially the time in which Sachin did it – 451 innings as against Virat’s 277. He’s done it in faster time, but the game has changed dramatically since Sachin played. 250 in an ODI innings is almost laughable these days on a good wicket. You look at 400,” he added.
AB de Villiers further pointed out Kohli considers Sachin still as the greatest which shows his humility as he always has great respect for other players.
“Virat also said in his interview – Sachin will always be the greatest. Virat is always really good like that, giving respect to other people. Especially when he breaks records or when his stats are looking better, he is always the first to say, ‘no, no, by no means am I greater than this guy’. Maybe he is, maybe he is not. That’s not the point. The point is, he has scored 49 hundreds and that’s equal to Sachin’s record,” the Proteas great concluded.
De Villiers’ comments are a testament to Kohli’s greatness as a batsman. He is one of the most prolific run-scorers in the history of the game and has broken numerous records. Kohli is also a role model for millions of young cricketers around the world.