Virat Kohli has kicked off 2023 in grand style as the batter smashed a century in the first game he played this year. Kohli scored an 87-ball 113 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. With this, Kohli took his tally of ODI centuries to 45, just four shy of Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in the format. As Kohli is nearing Tendulkar’s record and may even break it, a comparison between the two batting greats once again started.
Fans and experts have claimed that Kohli is in the same league as the God of Cricket. However, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has completely ruled out such comparisons saying Kohli can’t be compared to Sachin. Gambhir also explained his statement. The 2011 World Cup-winning player said that there were no such field restrictions like today during Sachin’s time and hence the Master Blaster can’t be compared to anyone from this generation.
“You can't compare Virat with Sachin. In Sachin's era there weren't 5 players inside the 30-yard circle,” said Gambhir on Star Sports.
The former India opener also lashed out at Sri Lankan bowlers for their ordinary bowling. "It was pretty ordinary bowling. The top three of the Indian batting line-up have got lots and lots of runs behind them. Rohit and Kohli obviously, Shubman also has the ability to get so many runs in international cricket. And how easy it was for Rohit and Shubman to get runs today. That was a surprise for me. You have to be consistent and Sri Lanka's bowling outing was very very disappointing for me," Gambhir said on Star Sports after the first innings.
Notably, India posted a mammoth 373/7 in their 50 overs while batting first. While Rohit Sharma (88) and Shubman Gill (70) scored half-centuries, Kohli amassed 113 runs from 87 balls.