MS Dhoni's 300th ODI game hogged all the limelight in India's 4th ODI against Sri Lanka at Colombo on Friday. While 'Mahi' had a memorable milestone game contributing handsomely to India's win with a well compiled 49 and three catches behind the stumps, Indian skipper Virat Kohli once again stood out as the impact player, notching up his 29th ODI ton.
A lot has been talked about Virat Kohli's spectacular ability to chase down herculean totals in big games under pressure. He has lived up to his billing as a 'Master of Chases' for sure but if we look at his ability to score ODI hundreds, he is second to none at present.
Perhaps the greatest hallmark of Kohli's batsmanship is his ability to score big hundred's hundreds with relative ease. The Indian skipper's consistency at churning out centuries in ODI is simply breathtaking. Kohli's 29th ton placed him third on the all time list of ODI century makers.
Only two modern batting maestros Ricky Ponting (30) and Sachin Tendulkar (49) have more tons in ODIs. Considering the fact that Kohli is just 200 matches old in the limited overs format, the feat is simply remarkable.
A closer look at the record books suggests that the Indian run scoring machine has surpassed past legends like Sanath Jayasuriya (28), Saurav Ganguly (22), Kumara Sangakkara (25) all of whom amassed 20 plus ODI tons. While Kohli is yet to reach a double century of ODI, all his illustrious predecessors took close to 300 plus games to achieve the milestone.
In an era, where cricketers have to adapt to three forms of the game, Kohli's ability to adapt to different format mesmerize the cricketing fraternity. Kohli has been constantly pitched against fellow contemporaries like AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Steven Smith and Kiwi Kane Williamson in the race for being dubbed as the greatest batsman of his generation. While Amla is known for his wristy strokeplay, De Villers for his shot making, Smith for his unorthodox yet effective style, Kohli is the numero Uno when it comes to converting 50s into 100s.
What makes Kohli special is his ability to executes a wide armory of shots in the classic and copy book style. An eye catching stroke-maker, Kohli's batting exemplifies aggression with an element of grace. He may not be the most brutal assaulter in the game, but he brings up his tons at a run a ball.
At 28, Virat Kohli has come a long way in international cricket and promises to be the lynchpin of the Indian batting for the next couple of years. It has to be seen where does the prolific run scoring machine end up on the ODI run scoring charts.