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Virat Kohli battled for a century across formats throughout that awful 1028-day period, and his declining form ultimately led to him taking a month-long hiatus. One of those fervent believers, former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, claimed that once Kohli is able to free himself from the chains, there will be no stopping him.
Kohli has already struck four hundred after breaking his century drought in T20Is last September, three of which came in ODIs and two at the start of 2023, both against Sri Lanka.
At the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, during the third and final ODI of the series against Sri Lanka, Kohli smacked 10 boundaries and one six in an 85-ball innings to record his 46th ODI century of all-time. He is still ranked second all-time in the format, but he is now only three tons away from matching Sachin Tendulkar’s incredible 49-ton record.
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With the century, Kohli surpassed Sachin in the list of most tons against one opponent and shattered his own record for the feat. The former captain of India is now the only player in history to make 10 century against Sri Lanka in ODI matches. Sachin and he both have nine tons each against the West Indies and Australia, respectively.
Additionally, he surpassed Sachin’s mark for the most home centuries. In 101 innings for India, this was Kohli’s 21st such hit. With his 113-run performance in the first game of the series earlier this week, he had tied Sachin for second on this list.
In ODI cricket, Kohli now shares second place for the most fifty-plus runs at home with great South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting. With 46 such scores, the three are second only to former Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar (58). Kohli has scored 20 hundreds and 26 fifty-sevens.
Along the way, he edged off Kallis (5186 runs) to move up to third place among home run scorers in the format. The only players with more runs at home than Kohli are Sachin (6976) and Ponting (5521).
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The achievement that impressed out the most, though, was Kohli’s ascent into the top five ODI run scorers. Kohli passed Mahela Jayawardene, a legend of Sri Lankan cricket who accumulated 12650 runs during his brilliant career in 50-over cricket, after he reached the 64-run milestone in his innings. Following top scorer Sachin, Kohli is now the second Indian on the list (18426). Sanath Jayasuriya (14234), Ponting (13704), and Kumar Sangakkara are among others (13430).