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Surely it is a matter of when Virat Kohli surpasses Sachin Tendulkar's one-day international century tally, not if
Virat Kohli, left, is closing in on Sachin Tendulkar's ODI ton count
Surely it is a matter of when Virat Kohli surpasses Sachin Tendulkar's one-day international century tally, not if.
The Indian skipper was at it again in Cape Town on Wednesday, taking South Africa to pieces as he racked up his 34th ODI ton.
In making an unbeaten 160, and helping his side to 303 for six from their 50 overs in the process, he moved to within 15 centuries of the Little Master's total.
With a huge amount of his playing career ahead of him, and with Kohli averaging a hundred every 5.79 innings in the longer white-ball format, the 29 year-old appears destined to claim Tendulkar's record in no time.
And that expectation only intensifies when you realise just how quickly the India skipper has accumulated his century haul.
MOST MEN'S ODI CENTURIESSachin Tendulkar 49 (452 innings)Virat Kohli 34 (197)Ricky Ponting 30 (365)Sanath Jayasuriya 28 (433)Hashim Amla 26 (158)
While Tendulkar reached 34 ODI hundreds in his 298th innings - against Namibia in 2003 - his successor has got to the landmark in just 197.
With India playing between 25 and 30 one-day internationals a year, though that will likely increase in the run-up to the World Cup in 2019, Kohli is on target to hit the half-century of centuries as early as 2021, based on his current rate.
His knock in South Africa on Wednesday was signifcant for another reason, too, as it surpassed the previous Indian individual record score in ODIs against the Proteas.
The previous best was recorded by Sourav Ganguly, who hit 127 in Johannesburg in 2001.
Typically, Tendulkar also made a hundred that day.
Kohli is 15 centuries shy of Tendulkar's 49