A look at the data behind Virat Kohli’s record 50 ODI centuries

By Sports Desk November 15, 2023

Virat Kohli has become the first batter to score 50 ODI centuries.

The India star scored his landmark ton in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand, with his compatriot and previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar watching in the stands.

Kohli had equalled Tendulkar’s 49 one-day hundreds just 10 days earlier in a group stage victory against South Africa.

Here, the PA news agency examines the data behind his remarkable achievement.

King Kohli

While Tendulkar scored his 49 hundreds across 452 innings, Kohli has overhauled his countryman in 173 fewer attempts.

He has been on a stronger trajectory than his predecessor ever since reaching three figures for the first time during his 13th visit to the crease.

Tendulkar took 76 innings to score his maiden hundred, by which time Kohli had already accumulated eight tons.

The rate of Kohli’s century-making has continued to outstrip Tendulkar’s, with the ‘Little Master’ having scored 31 hundreds after 279 innings – the same number it has taken Kohli to reach 50.

The 35-year-old has scored his runs at a better average (58.69 compared with 44.83) and a faster strike rate (93.62 compared with 86.23) than his former team-mate, although his run total remains some way behind (13,784 compared with 18,426).

 

Renaissance man

Kohli has been a model of consistency throughout much of his ODI career, having scored at least one hundred in every year between 2009 and 2019.

However, his serene progress towards 50 tons was interrupted by a run of 25 innings without celebrating the milestone – a sequence that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and spanned three full years between December 2019 and December 2022.

He has since enjoyed a remarkable return to form, with six centuries in 2023 so far – his joint-most in a calendar year alongside 2017 and 2018.

Kohli has scored 711 runs to anchor India’s seemingly unstoppable bid to win the World Cup on home soil, with his tournament tally having surpassed Tendulkar’s previous record of 673, set in 2003.

Master chaser

Kohli is undoubtedly the greatest chaser in ODI history.

The 35-year-old has scored 27 hundreds in the pursuit of targets, 10 more than Tendulkar who is his closest challenger for second-innings tons.

Of the 16 players with at least 20 ODI centuries, Kohli is the only one to have scored the majority when batting second.

He averages a staggering 65.49 in run chases, compared with 51.72 in first-innings efforts.

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