Too early to compare Kohli with Tendulkar, says Sourav Ganguly
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Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly might be a big admirer of Virat Kohli but the 45-year-old believes that the current Indian skipper still has a long way to go before being clubbed in the same bracket as the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
Kohli's first ton at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata was his 50th international century and took the Indian cricket team agonisingly close to a famous win over Sri Lanka in the first Test of the 3-match series after being under the cosh for the first three days of the match.
Ganguly is certain that Kohli can continue to rake up the centuries like he has been doing since making his international debut in 2008.
"It's too early to compare him with Sachin. He still has to make 50 more centuries. But the way he is going, he will make many more such hundreds," Ganguly told reporters at the close of play on the final day of the match.
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India's aggressive showing in the second innings breathed life into a match which seemed like heading to a draw after a major portion of the first two matchdays was lost due to rain and bad light.
Despite Sri Lanka taking a 122-run first innings lead, the hosts scored 352 at nearly 4-runs-an-over to set the visitors a competitive target of 231.
Kohli's side nearly managed to secure an unlikely victory reducing Sri Lanka to 75/7 before bad light once again played spoilsport to bring an end to the match.
Kohli was India's highest scorer in the second innings, making up for his failure in the first innings, by scoring an unbeaten 104 off 199 balls.
This was Kohli's 50th ton in international cricket and is only the eighth player in history, and the second Indian after Tendulkar, to achieve the feat.
Kohli is still a long way off Tendulkar's tally though and Ganguly is still shying away from drawing comparisons between the two and wants Kohli to focus on his game and continue his habit of scoring centuries.
While KL Rahul felt that India could have won the match had play been possible for a few overs more, Ganguly felt that Kohli declared India's second innings at the right moment as it was vital for India to be in a safe position before making the call.
The visitors' narrow escape at Eden Gardens, which saw the Indian pacers take all 17 Sri Lankan wickets to fall in the match, meant that there would be no repeat of the 9-0 embarrassment they had suffered when India toured Sri Lanka earlier this year.
They will, however, be hopeful of a much more consistent showing in the remainder of the series with the second Test set to begin on November 24 at Nagpur.
While Kohli might have only reached halfway mark as far as Tendulkar's tally of 100 international centuries is concerned, at 29, the Indian skipper still has a lot of cricket ahead of him and is a serious threat to the Master Blaster's feat.
The consistency with which Kohli has been scoring runs in all formats of the game is simply astonishing and he has already established himself as one of the game' all-time greats and it will be no surprise if he does indeed score 100 international tons by the time he calls it quits.